Wednesday, May 26, 2010

comments by Baudelaire

Baudelaire was one of the first people to comment on photography and he tended not to be very supportive of the new medium that was emerging at the time. However, the following passage, quoted in Colin Scott's book on Street Photography, describes a dichotomy that I experience as a photographer. In some ways, it is the difference between photography as science and as art yet Baudelaire describes it here in a less theoretical and more direct way for the photographer. Baudelaire is describing artistic memory ...

" .. a srtruggle between the determination to see everything, to forget nothing, and the faculty of memory, which has acquired the habit of registering in a flash the general tones and shape, the outline pattern. An artist with a perfect sense of form but particularly accustomed to the exercise of his memory and his imagination, then finds himself assailed, as it were, by a riot of details, all of them demanding justice, with the fury of a mob in love with absolute equality."

The photograph is very good at capturing detail and yet if one focuses largely on this aspect, the overall effect of the photograph which is likely to be what most people look at, might be compromised.

No comments:

Post a Comment