Anthony then suggested I look at the book Basic Critical Theory for Photographers by Ashley la Grange, who has analysed this essay and posed some interesting questions. The following text is the important parts I picked out which were relevant and could be included in my paper. The viewer is not presented with an informed impression and ultimately takes an interpretation that is not accurate. Sontag speculated that the camera frees the photographer from any responsibility towards the subject because of the distance it can create; a photograph can be taken of a subject without any involvement with them or their culture at all. Overall the impression taken is that in the case of Arbus, the outsider approach is considered bad, an insider approach would be good.
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Anthony then suggested I look at the book Basic Critical Theory for Photographers by Ashley la Grange, who has analysed this essay and posed some interesting questions.
The following text is the important parts I picked out which were relevant and could be included in my paper. The viewer is not presented with an informed impression and ultimately takes an interpretation that is not accurate. Sontag speculated that the camera frees the photographer from any responsibility towards the subject because of the distance it can create; a photograph can be taken of a subject without any involvement with them or their culture at all.
Overall the impression taken is that in the case of Arbus, the outsider approach is considered bad, an insider approach would be good. She introduces photographer and writer Martha Rosler as a practitioner who deals with the politics of photography.
The alternative introduced to objective representation is self representation; a concept explored by photographer such as Nan Goldin and Larry Clark who are so involved in their subject matter that their work features self portraits.
Certainly in the case of sexuality there can be no objective or neutral approach because the concept is internal, photography in an art or reportage context can only depict the external appearance. The work consists of photographs which avoid the obvious visual representation, for example a instead of a photograph of an alcoholic, there is a photograph of the doorways they often spend time in.
Along with this are a series of words that aim to describe the concept of the alcoholic through association. Perhaps in the world of mass image culture, there is a need to avoid the obvious representation to encourage the viewer to spend more time investing in the work to draw an interpretation. Certainly the objective approach proves to be effective and necessary in the fields of science, medicine, forensics and the judiciary system.
To photograph avoiding a sense of intrusion or expropriation to take ownership of content for the public domain requires the insider mode. Perhaps this approach is suited to photojournalism in an art context as opposed to the hour information stream that demands single, easy moments for the audience to consume quickly.
The photograph as evidence in photojournalism has always been under debate, with most practitioners stating that early documentary photography was very subjective. It is apparent that the photograph as evidence works in the context of scientific or lawful practises however the notion of it in photojournalism seems fundamentally flawed. The ethics behind photojournalism have never been defined therefore it would suggests that all work made of photojournalists is subjective as it is built on their own contextual experience.
The notion of ethics and misrepresentation is always more prominent in discussions surrounding photographic manipulation however this is also not a new concept. I need to find an effective visual example from a photojournalist that I can apply this concept to, perhaps choosing an outside approach would be more effective as I can address the distance established by objectivity. I am aware I must avoid labelling either approach as right or wrong as the nature and dynamic of photojournalism is continually changing.
Some of the most striking imagery has been produced using the outsider approach such as the image of the Napalm girl or the Sudanese girl being watched over by the vulture. These iconic images have certainly been effective in terms of impacting the audience, but provoking an emotional reaction is not enough to help these victims.
Perhaps a comprehensive understanding of their situation would lend itself better to the idea of continuing support from the audience. This is a concept that definitely needs including in my paper. You are commenting using your WordPress. You are commenting using your Google account. You are commenting using your Twitter account. You are commenting using your Facebook account. Notify me of new comments via email. Notify me of new posts via email.
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Reflection: ‘Inside/Out’ by Abigail Solomon-Godeau
Home About Contribute. When is it not OK to take a photograph? Should you always seek the permission of your subjects before taking their photograph? Does it make a difference whether or not you have a personal relationship with the subject of a photograph?
Basic Critical Theory for Photographers by Ashley la Grange
This then hinders the viewer from feeling sympathy or understanding for the subject. Sontag sees Diane Arbus as this style of photographer. For some photographers the camera is a barrier between them and their subject, allowing them to photograph, but not interfere, or get involved. Many theorists, such as Sontag believe this is a bad approach to photography, as this also separates the viewer from feeling empathy. A way to counter this would be to give the participant a way to self-present themselves.
Abigail Solomon-Godeau – Inside/Out