Week 3 – Technology and the Hunter/Farmer

  • Technology and Creativity

“Photograph is perception (seeing) and Description (operating the camera to make a record) of the seeing” Winogrand in Green, 1984, p.97

I believe that the act to photograph is a continuum. The camera and the choices made when taking the picture, including the selection of shutter speed, aperture, space and lights to be used in a specific subject can be considered as objective. At the same time, all of this objectiveness can be deconstructed in order to create a specific visual effect on the image, such as a blurred image, or a small dept of field through a small aperture: now it is being used with the creative aspect in mind. The context will decide which approach will be the main priority.

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Pinhole image, author unknown

The technological and creative walk next to each other in my point of view. Nowadays, with software’s such as Adobe Photoshop, it is also possible to extend this creativeness to the post-production. In traditional photography, post-production also took place in the dark room, and many don’t consider that as part of the creative process. With techniques such as dodging, burning, combinations of negatives, different toners: there was definitely plenty of room for creativity in the dark room. Therefore, technology is continually mutating, but the process is still the same.

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James Dean by H. C. Bresson

  • The Hunter and the Farmer

“The photographer is either a hunter or a farmer” (Wall, in Horne, 2012)

The definition of a hunter is of the photographer who tracks and captures the images, and, the Farmer, as someone who cultivates and constructs.

As a photographer I can be both types, depending on the context. I consider myself as a natural hunter, but through the years I have developed my “farmer” techniques.

Here is one constructed image made earlier in the course, the concept was home and reflection:

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Helik van Rynswoud, 2018

So, here is me as farmer. The construction of the image in the mind and the process of putting it together using all the elements. On the other hand, here is the hunter:

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Helik van Rynswoud, 2018

Walking under the rain and trying to capture reflections when looking down. I believe that the hunter is always there, even if will one day to become a stronger farmer. We need to hunt for elements, ideas, in order to compose the image in mind. To finalize this post, I am adding some words from Price summarizing the relationship between the photographer and the camera:

“The camera may be thought of as comparable to the eye. The difference is that the camera is no more than an eye. It does not think. Any connection with choosing, arranging, including excliding and snapping has to be with the photographer.” (Price, 1994, p.4)

References:

http://photonshouse.com/advanced-black-camera-creative-darkroom-photography-technique-white.html

https://fstoppers.com/post-production/how-photos-were-edited-darkroom-days-2994

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