Friday, September 12, 2008

American Photography

I think it’s so crazy to see how much the camera has evolved. From taking the place of traditional paintings to fighting social discrimination. Even today it’s being used to capture everything from favorite family moments to unbelievably tragic horrors. The camera isn’t simply a technological tool that can produce a picture, but a tool for activists, artists or just your average Joe.

Today, with the advancement in technology, there are so many opportunities to evolve the photograph. Sometimes this is a welcomed change and other times not so much. The most important thing to note is the loss of trust in the photograph. Especially with mass media and the fact that those who have something to sell have their own agenda; you can’t trust that what you are seeing is worth believing. For example, the John Kerry photograph next to Jane Fonda an anti-war activist.

Personally, I’m not sure that I consider a photograph ‘art’. I feel like I could take a picture of the beach or the sun setting without the need of spending hundreds or sometimes thousands on a picture taken by someone else. I like to use my camera to document my life. I want to have something to remember that special time or that exact moment that I consider to be important enough to reproduce some sort of proof of it.  

Edward Curtis was taking photographs of people he thought might one day disappear, his subjects were Native Americans. What Frank Matsumura noticed was that Curtis's pictures weren't accurately depicting the actual state of Native Americans. So, he photographed them as they were with no manipulation. While, I am in no way comparing my snapshots with the likes of Curtis or Matsumura, I did attach a picture of my daughter and I on her 1st birthday; just as we are with no manipulation. 


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