Intention and Artifice: An Article About Photography

This reading examines the reality and convention and alterations of photography over time.  It also compares the medium of photography with others such as sketching and painting and writing.  Viewers often feel that the evidence photos present correspond to reality, however, with new technology and digital imagery, photos have moved away from reality and are much more questioned.  The more information there is in an image, the harder it is to alter without introducing detectable inconsistencies.  The reading also explains some of the methods that analysts use to determine the legitimacy of photos including looking at shadows and hues and shading and reflections.  It also examines the difference between originals and copies and one and two-stage and allographic and autographic.  As photography is a major globally exchanged item of traditional conceptions of truth, the authenticity and originality have been challenged with many legal dilemmas.

Through many different examples, the reading questions the credibility of photographs, analyzes the different intentions, artifices, and objectives of photography, presents several historical cases of photographic scams and mutations, and gives examples of impossible drawings that photography cannot reproduce.   I was particularly drawn to the illusion drawings and the altered photographs of historical significance.  The concept of a photograph being “taken” has been constantly flowing in and out of my mind after reading as well.

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~ by Kiki on April 6, 2009.

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