Fact vs. Fiction in Photography
People today are generally more discerning when it comes to the fictive nature of photographic images. As modern viewers, most of us do not assume that photography produces objective, factual reality in every instance; however, in the 19th century, that was the widespread belief.
Select a 19th-century example of a photograph and discuss how and/or why it is not a record of objective fact.
Questions to Consider:
-What aspects of photography are objective? What aspects of photography are subjective? Does it have to be all one or other, or can a photograph exist as both simultaneously?
-In your specific photograph, what kinds of decisions do you think the photographer made that influenced its final appearance?
What aspects of photography are objective?
The photographs which do not have any kinds of feelings prejudice and any sort of interpretations can be termed as the objective photography. The photos which have aspects such as unbiasedness but have a sense of feeling attached to them such as smell, taste and seen are considered to be objective photographs in nature. The objects within the photos are given prime importance in the objective photography.
The photos where the subject is more important than the object are termed as subjective photography. The photos through which ideas, opinions and thoughts are expressed are termed as subjective photography (Estrin, 2015). The composition of the photo is highlighted in subjective photography. The subjective photography can be helpful for the communication process between the artist and his mood while drawing the picture.
A photograph can be both objective and subjective in many ways as these are both mutually exclusive concepts. Any picture has focused on the feelings of the photographer as well as the scenario of the project. The intuition of the artist plays a huge role in determining the specification of the photograph also.
In your specific photograph, what kinds of decisions do you think the photographer made that influenced its final appearance?
The final appearance of the chosen picture depicts the state of mind of the photographer which was full of pride and essence of victory. Discipline and composure were one of the unique characteristic features of the Batton Rouge, it a very significant chapter in the American Civil War (Smith, 2016). The photographer wanted to show the world what his army men were capable of.
Artist: Andrew David Lytle
Title: 1st Indiana Heavy Artillery from Battle of Baton Rouge
Estrin, J. (2015). Fact and Fiction in Modern Photography. The New York times.
Smith, E. P. (2016). Defying Jim Crow: African American Community Development and the Struggle for Racial Equality in New Orleans, 1900–1960. By Donald E. DeVore (Baton Rouge, Louisiana State University Press, 2015) 280 pp. $45.00.
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