Sunday, September 14, 2008

PBS American Photography

In the American Photography series, the history of photography is presented and analyzed, in which it is noted that, pictures are the essence of life and death. Some time after its creation and the novelty of it faded, many sought to use photography as a form of art. Of course, due to this shift, some questions are sure to arise. Questions such as, is photography an art? and, where is the art? were being asked. Ultimately, photography became a very creative, well thought-out process, that was a handcrafted art form. With the power of photography realized, people from all aspects of life began using it as a tool. Whether it be advertising, propaganda, war photos, and landscapes, photography became a powerful presence in societies and cultures internationally. Through its history it has been used to expose, educate, remember, create, and document. Out of all the photos, styles, and meanings analyzed, the one idea that was emphasized most of all is the power of the still image, and its way of cataloging life's memories. A photo can become something that is never forgotten, however the question that is now surfacing is whether digital is deleting history. Photos will last an eternity in the mind, but keeping a hard copy is still necessary.

Hats off to PBS for creating an extremely powerful and eye opening video series. The way in which they created a timeline, which was commented on by numerous professionals, developed an all encompassing view of photography. The personal accounts of historical moments in photography, how it happened, and why the photograph became so well known, created a gripping narration of historical moments captured through an image.

Question: To me it seems that black and white photos are more powerful, and strongly convey their message. Why is the absence of color more effective and powerful in photographs? Does black and white convey truth?

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