Re: Psychological Motives for Pursuing Photography

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Truth is indeed elusive.   But what about the various "psychological
needs" that Eisler says drove Stieglitz?  Doesn't this suggest that
creativity is a form of madness?   And what is behind a creative
person's "expressive impulse?"





On 8/31/11, Herschel Mair <herschel@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> Facts are only facts from a given perspective. Only the very simplest
> facts stand up to inspection..
> "The sky is blue"... well actually not... more correctly put "The sky
> appears blue"
>
> And truth must be defined: Biblical truth? physical truth? Political
> truth? what properties must a fact have to be "TRUE"?
>
> Simply to have been observed is hardly enough. How many optical
> illusions are absolutely convincing? How fickle is the mind? Surely
> observation involves the observer's life, experience, emotions?
>
> So what properties constitute "Truth"? and can a camera reproduce these
> faithfully? Is there any integrity to truth? Must it be "The whole
> truth" or can it be partially true? Must it contain all the facts or can
> it relate only some selected facts? Surely if you can pick and choose
> only the facts which suit you, then you have a manipulation. Perhaps
> even a lie?
>
> Isn't it true that any photograph leaves out far more than it includes?
> The frame line, by virtue of its selectivity and exclusion makes any
> photograph a lie or at least a manipulation of the facts. And what about
> time? Obviously the truth at Gettysburg this morning is not as it was
> 1863. We select the time at which we shoot.
>
> And what about viewpoint? what might seem true from one viewpoint may be
> totally different by moving a few inches. Escher showed that.
>
> We are like the inhabitants of Plato's cave. Looking at shadows and
> making our truths out of them
>
> We all believed in Newtonian gravity. Quite observable and quite
> "provable"... "What goes up must come down"   A "Self-evident truth"
> but not really... even the idea of "Up" isn't true.
> Einstein radically changed the way we think about gravity and made
> Newton all but obsolete. And as we speak Einstein's theories are being
> challenged.
>
> I could aske you: "Is there a hippopotamus in your bedroom?" and you
> might reply "NO" but how do you know?... Because you can't see one?
> There is probably oxygen in your bedroom? But can you see it either.
>
> The famous mathematician, Bertrand Russell said that you'd have a
> terrible time writing a proof for "There is no hippo in this room"
>
> Truth is a comfortable concept. It's comforting to think we have a firm
> handle on life and the universe... but alas it's all too flimsy.
>
>
>
> On 8/31/11 8:54 AM, mark@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx wrote:
>> I totally disagree.  You are entitled to your own opinion, but not
>> your facts.  Truth is fact.  Truth is absolute.  There is no gray in
>> truth.  You may not like it, and you may wish it were different, but
>> its there none the less.
>>
>> Now if you are creating art and the composition is perfect except for
>> a tree you do not like in the frame, if you change the composition to
>> leave it out is that the truth?  Yes for that spot on the earth exists
>> at that moment in time.  If you take the image from the original point
>> and clone it out is that the truth?  No but for a print I am
>> representing as art and not documentary, I would have no problem doing
>> that at all.  A model shows up with a big tattoo on her shoulder that
>> disrupts the lines of her dress flowing.  There is a big difference in
>> cloning out the tat from a gallery print and cloning out the tat for
>> an ID photo.
>>
>> I don't believe it is that hard to show truth, but showing emotions is
>> a really tough assignment.   Creating an emotional response to your
>> work in the viewer that is the response you intended is the ultimate
>> measure of success of an image.
>>
>>     -------- Original Message --------
>>     Subject: Re: Psychological Motives for Pursuing Photography
>>     From: Herschel Mair <herschel@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
>>     <mailto:herschel@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>>
>>     Date: Tue, August 30, 2011 11:33 pm
>>     To: List for Photo/Imaging Educators - Professionals - Students
>>     <photoforum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx <mailto:photoforum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>>
>>
>>     I wanted to study music and my family wanted me to be an
>>     architect... I
>>     studied photography. The faculty was in the printing and lithography
>>     department. It was "The British way" - Professionalism and know-how
>>     above all else. The old debate about "Art" hardly entered the
>>     equation.
>>
>>     I'm not dealing with truth at all. It's such a vague abstract....
>>     your
>>     truth my truth our truth... and changeable. I don't believe
>>     photographs
>>     are capable of translating what we feel or what we see truthfully.
>>     They
>>     will almost always trigger a different and personal experience for
>>     every
>>     viewer. The viewer feels and sees from his own life and experience.
>>
>>     "We see things not as they are but as we are." Einstein
>>
>>     I am motivated by two dynamics. I take pictures to sell stuff and I
>>     take pictures to please myself.
>>
>>     The former is done to other people's specifications mostly. I
>>     shoot to
>>     please an art director or a client etc...
>>
>>     The latter is done to satisfy an urge to play with light and
>>     perhaps to
>>     collect... To find images that fit into my projects so that they
>>     tell a
>>     better story and are visually more pleasing.
>>
>>     I almost never shoot stuff that I don't "Need" for a project. What
>>     would
>>     I do with a pretty sunset? I love them as much as the next man and
>>     sometimes the light is so beautiful it turns me inside out. But I
>>     am not
>>     tempted to reach for a camera. I don't take gear with me when I go on
>>     vacation.
>>     For over 25 years now, photography has been work. Work that I love to
>>     do, but work nevertheless.
>>
>>     Herschel
>>
>>     On 8/30/11 9:58 PM, Trevor Cunningham wrote:
>>     > Amen.
>>     >
>>     > On 8/31/11 12:18 AM, Lea Murphy wrote:
>>     >> I'm not trying to reveal Truth, I'm trying to show what I saw,
>>     what I
>>     >> felt, what I felt about what I saw.
>>     >
>>     >
>>
>
>



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