Week 3: Subjectivity and False Indexes

As Crewdson states as cited by Barnes and Best (2006) that ‘My hope is that my pictures, although elaborately staged, convey an experience that intensely real’. One is aware that although he acknowledges his work is staged, what is interesting and may relate to my practice is the idea that his intentions are to ‘create experiences’.

I would describe my own work as initially born out of the idea of documentary photography however the project has evolved into the realm of portraits. With this development in mind I am still acutely aware that the intention of my work is to move a viewer in a way that they may identify or recognise as propertied by Bate (2009).

Due to the editing, I accepted that to some degree my work is subjective. However much of the process is objective as I approach the people I encounter within a specific time and place. It is a matter for understanding the ‘extent’ of ambiguity. Although not the overriding consideration when I am creating work I am mindful not to actively direct subjects especially when creating documentary work.

In considering the current hybridity of work I am producing in this project, the ideas of Ritchin (2013. p49) may provide substance to my approach to the ambiguity I create when he argues that “the photographer must increasingly emphasise the role of interpretation rather than that of transcription”. I feel that my work is very much an interpretation of a an event such as a football match. I do manipulate images in the attempt to move the audience and I feel free to do this as my work probably won’t be used as evidence.

Going back to Crewdson’s statement about ‘creating experiences’. I recognise that an element of my work is to create an experience to the viewer.

The photograph below is not staged and I encountered these people eating in that place, at that time. I covertly took the shot and told them after. Were the people aware of my presence? I thought not although the lady on the right of the image appears to be smirking. Is this because she read my intentions? I am unsure.

Bate, D (2009) Photography, The Key Concepts. Oxford, Berg.

Barnes. M. & Best. K. (2006) Twilight Photography in the Magic Hour. London, Merrell.

Ritchin, F (2013) Bending the Frame, Photojournalism, Documentary and the Citizen. New York, Aperture.

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