Jonathan Culler reminds us “Interpreters should ask about what the text does and how, how it relates to other texts, and to other practices, what it conceals or represses, what it advances or is complicitous with, what it forgets and what it takes for granted” (Culler, 1992: 111).
- Source and post to this forum an interview with a practitioner who interests you and informs your practice in some way. This could be text, audio or video.
- Provide a URL if possible to the original source. Check that it is credible.
- Be alert to how they describe the intent of their work, and how they explain the visual choices they have made to realise this. How do they reflect on and evaluate their work, and do you agree? These are issues contemporary photographers often directly address when they discuss their practice.
- Consider these and provide a brief evaluative summary. You should also specifically identify and reflect on any ways in which this might inform the development of your own practice.
- You might also highlight any particular issues / themes / comments / quotes etc which you think are useful / clear / critical – and have synergies with your own practice.
- Bear in mind that many interviews may not be as ‘critical’ (for example use of quotes / critical reference points) as are expected in your own Critical Review. However many photographers will mention visual / theoretical reference points. You need to take this further in the context of your assessed Critical Review.
- You may wish to refer to the attached Critical Review Assessment Criteria to support your evaluation.
Comment on the posts of your peers throughout the week as you consider the content of the presentations, and as you keep working and reflecting on your own practice and prepare for your webinar.
An Interview with Arnold Newman
Published on October 24th, 2013, Ira Gardner had the privilege to interview Mr.Arnold Newman in 2001.
To represent is to aestheticise, that is, to transform. It involves a vast field of choices but it does not include not to transform, not to change or alter whatever is being represented’ (Levi Strauss, 2003: 9).
- Research and share on this forum, a particular body of work / exhibition / advertising campaign / coverage of a news event etc. which aims to convey a particular message. Ideally, this should be relevant to your own practice.
- Identify the message the work aims to promote and who you think its intended audience might be.
- Post to this forum a short critical outline of your own response to the relative success of this work in achieving its intent.
- Consider, highlight and respond to any key ideas raised by Sischy (1991) that you particularly agreed or disagreed with.
- Define and evaluate how these practitioners achieve this? (or not?)
Comment on the posts of your peers throughout the week as you consider the content of the presentations, and as you keep working and reflecting on your own practice and prepare for your webinar.
You may also wish to use the Critical Review Preparation: Thinking Points document (attached) to prompt some initial notes regarding the reflection on your own practice.
Mowgli Malaysia’ to star in telefilm
Saturday, 23 Feb 2019
Compiled by FATIMAH ZAINAL, OH ING YEEN and R. ARAVINTHAN
THE 14-year-old teen dubbed “Mowgli Malaysia” for his unique friendship with the animals on his father’s farm will be starring in a film on TV for Hari Raya Aidilfitri, reported Sinar Harian.
Muhammad Syukur Khamis, a student in SMK Padang Midin in Kuala Terengganu, is playing the lead role in Raya di Hujung Tanduk.
He is acting alongside actress Delimawati Ismail, known for her role as Kak Limah in the widely popular film Hantu Kak Limah.
“I never dreamed of becoming an actor,” said Muhammad Syukur, adding that he was delighted to be chosen to act alongside Delimawati.
Shooting for the film took two days and was held at Muhammad Syukur’s village home as well as at his father’s buffalo farm in Kampung Kubang Bujuk.
His brother Muhammad Alias, 29, said it took the boy some time to memorise the script.
He added that Muhammad Syukur, who was recently on TV3’s Majalah 3, had also received offers to act in a drama.
I am very happy to hear that Shukur is finally asked to appear in a local tele-film. I would presume that the video shooting has been completed by now and that it could well be in its final stages before the showing.
Being at the tender age of 14 and being on the silver screen is something to shout about as Shukur’s love and his understanding with his “pets” are so natural , and only he can do it. I do hope that the movie director will not exploit him to a limit that only benefits the production team, but to give a positive message to the world that everyone needs a tender loving care.
This shoot will be centered on Shukur’s family members, and his daily routines with the buffalo being the main topic of the show. It might also be that the film is all about the life of Shukur, and how he started becoming a “mowgli” at the age of 7 years.
I also hope that hopeful fortune will be looked after by their parents, and his fame will not make him into another superstar of sorts.
His father has hinted about his buffalo ‘business’ will eventually be handed over to Shukur, and selling each buffalo for US$2,000.00, his 150 odd buffalo will make him a millionaire.
I do wish him all the very best in his endeavor and always be humble and kind as he has been all these while.
Shukur Standing Tall at his Buffalo Farm
And I have known the eyes already, known them all,
The eyes that fix you in a formulated phrase,
And when I am formulated, sprawling on a pin,
And I am pinned and wriggling on the wall,
Then how should I begin?
T S Eliot (1915) The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock
Susan Sontag (1977: 155) accuses photography of being ‘acquisition’ and the ‘surrogate’ possession of the object. One that ‘means putting oneself into a certain relation to the world that feels like knowledge and therefore, like power’ (ibid: 4).
Post a short message that outlines your own ethical position regarding the inherent power relations involved in photographs.
- Outline the key ideas raised by Grundberg (1988) that you particularly agreed or disagreed with.
- Provide visual illustrations – including both negative and positive stereotypes.
- Evaluate how these practitioners do or do not achieve their goals.
Comment on the posts of your peers throughout the week as you evaluate the content of the presentations, continue to work and reflect on your own practice and prepare for the webinar.
Millennials in the Workplace: Reversing Negative Stereotypes
According to stereotypes, the Millennial employee will always be the one to ask for a raise first, to demand options, and to spend the work hours texting on personal devices. This generation has earned the title of being presumptuous and demanding ; like any sweeping generational stereotypes, this isn’t true, nor is it fair. However, perhaps their characteristics or behaviors have been misinterpreted, and from a slightly different perspective, these can be beneficial qualities. When we take time to understand those we work with, we’ll be better equipped to understand their needs, passions, and goals. Learn how to reverse these negative stereotypes about Millennials in the workplace.
Differences Between Millennials and Generation X Employees
Gen X individuals tend to be very stuck in the process. There’s often an expectation with the way things are supposed to work according to what they are used to. Whereas Millennials are entering the workforce, they have different expectations and bring more creativity to the workplace. Millennials also ask more questions relating to why we do what we do when it comes to process and workflow.
Another significant difference is the expectations of the company. Millennials hold their organizations to a higher standard than previous generations. These younger workers want more buy-in and information about why they are doing what they are doing. Generation X typically have more of a “get the job done” mentality.
Managing Different Expectations
Sometimes Gen X employees require more coaching and mentoring than Millennials. Due to the blending of generations in the workforce, Generation X must be accepting of what Millennials are bringing to the workplace because they are the future of work.
Millennials in the Workplace: Management Challenges
The biggest challenge is managing expectations. With the rise in startup culture, it can be difficult to explain the realistic speed of progression and career trajectory. It’s crucial to emphasize the importance of patience to obtain the necessary experience to grow within the organization.
Without proper training and longevity within a position, employees run the risk of rising too quickly and crumbling under the weight. Years of experience help build the fundamental principles and skills needed to succeed in more advanced roles.
Exquisite Landscapes, Beautiful Weather, Elephants, Tourists near Beasts ? This is truly a horrible magazine ad from South Africa Tourism. It’s this kind of thing that makes people scratch their heads and then ask, “What the hell were they thinking with THAT one?”
For Your Eyes Only
Few adverts use pictures of ordinary people in ordinary clothing. We are constantly faced with ‘shiny, happy people’ who beautifully smile at us and always look great, whatever they are selling.
A reason for this is that when we see images of people, we may be pulled into the image or project ourselves into it or see it as a kind of mirror as we identify with the people there. We can only sustain this if we find that identification pleasant and harmonious, otherwise we push it away, distancing ourselves from the unpleasantness.
In this way, the most successful images are those of people who we think we would like or who we would like to be.
This only backfires if we feel that we are being manipulated or have such a poor self-image we cannot identify with the models used. This is one reason why adverts that use ‘ordinary’ people can effect a reversal that harmonizes with cynics, snagging them as they push away from more conventional images. Knowing your audience is the secret of success and not-beautiful people can work if this knowledge is used correctly.
There has been much criticism of the use of beauty in advertising in the way that it creates dissatisfaction and unhappiness where people believe they must be as attractive as the people shown (Richins 1991).
The Power of Eyes
Melanie Bateson and colleagues famously found in 2006 that putting a picture of a pair of eyes above a coffee pot in a university staff room significantly increased the takings in the honesty box. They tried different eyes and found that the most effective eyes were direct and staring.
Dan Ariely has noted that most of us cheat, just a bit, although we still like to think of ourselves as honest (and most certainly want others to think this). So when we believe we are being watched, we are more honest. The Bateson experiment highlights how this is so deeply ingrained we are even persuaded by a pair of eyes.
Historical people knew this too, and the ‘evil eye’ and protective eye symbols have been used for many, many years. Even the James Bond ‘007’ moniker originated with the ’00’ as a pair of eyes, with the magical number 7 to protect them.
We also follow the gaze of people in pictures, wondering what they are looking at. Hence if a number of people are shown, looking at your product, then viewers will also end up staring at the product too.
Another image that people often respond well to is the great outdoors. Pictures of trees, mountains, lakes and meadows make us feel good, which is why so many adverts use such images as backdrops, even when the product has nothing to do with it.
Nature can also be abstractly included with potted plants in inside scenes or even general green hues across a picture. The warm glow of the sun or sunsets can alternatively be portrayed with red or orange hues.
Richins, M.L. (1991). Social Comparison and the Idealized Images of Advertising. Journal of Consumer Research, 18, 1,71-83
Bateson, M., Nettle, D. and Roberts, G. (2006). Cues of being watched enhance cooperation in a real-world setting, Biology Letters, 22, 2, 3, 412–414
Altered is a good term that doesn’t imply negative intent. – Jarrod Roberson
Image manipulation on non digital imagery is exactly what it says it is – it’s photographic retouching on a non digital image, in other words a conventional photograph. If you were referring to a photograph that was modified/retouched in the 1960’s before Adobe Photoshop was invented, you would not claim it had been photoshopped would you?
In digital editing, photographs are usually taken with a digital camera and input directly into a computer. Transparencies, negatives or printed photographs may also be digitized using a scanner, or images may be obtained from stock photography databases. With the advent of computers, graphics tablets, and digital cameras, the term image editing encompasses everything that can be done to a photo, whether in a darkroom or on a computer. Photo manipulation is often much more explicit than subtle alterations to color balance or contrast and may involve overlaying a head onto a different body or changing a sign’s text, for examples. Image editing software can be used to apply effects and warp an image until the desired result is achieved. The resulting image may have little or no resemblance to the photo (or photos in the case of compositing) from which it originated. Today, photo manipulation is widely accepted as an art form.
There are several subtypes of digital image-retouching:
Manipulation for photo restoration or enhancement. This can involve the adjustment of colors, contrast, white balance (i.e. gradational retouching) and sharpness, and the removal of noise, elements or visible flaws on skin or materials.
Used as an art form or for commercial use to create more sleek and interesting images for advertisements. Creative retouching could be manipulation for fashion, beauty or advertising photography such as pack-shots (which could also be considered inherently technical retouching in regards to package dimensions and wrap-around factors). One of the most prominent disciplines in creative retouching is image compositing whereby the digital artist uses multiple photos to create a single image. Today, 3D computer graphics are used more and more to add extra elements or even locations and backgrounds. This kind of image composition is widely used when conventional photography would be technically too difficult or impossible to shoot on location or in studio.
As a result of the popularity of Adobe Photoshop as image editing software, use of the neologism “photoshopped” grew ubiquitously. The term commonly refers to any and all digital editing of photographs regardless of what software is used. Trademark owners Adobe Systems Incorporated, while flattered over the software’s popularity, objected to what they referred to as misuse of their trademarked software, and considered it an infringement on their trademark to use terms such as “photoshopped” or “photoshopping” as a noun or verb, in possessive form or as a slang term. However, Adobe’s attempts to prevent “genericization” or “genericide” of the company’s trademark was to no avail. Separately, the Free Software Foundation advises against using “photoshop” as a verb because Adobe Photoshop is proprietary software. The terms “photoshop”, “photoshopped” and “photoshopping” are ubiquitous and widely used colloquially and academically when referencing image editing software as it relates to digital manipulation and alteration of photographs.
In popular culture, the term photoshopping is sometimes associated with montages in the form of visual jokes, such as those published on Fark and in Mad magazine. Images may be propagated memetically via e-mail as humor or passed as actual news in a form of hoax. An example is “Helicopter Shark”, which was widely circulated as a so-called “National Geographic Photo of the Year” and was later revealed to be a hoax.
Is smartphone journalism the way forward?
A growing number of photojournalists are using smartphone apps to tell their stories. Should we see that as a bad thing?
Filtering apps such as Instagram and Hipstamatic have penetrated the world of photojournalism. The Guardian picture desk receives a lot of filtered photographs from news agencies on the wires.
It’s the sort of image that usually illustrates lighter stories. To mix up their coverage Getty had its photographers shoot the US elections on their iPhones as well as conventional DSLRs.
Tougher subjects have been covered, too. Back in 2010 the New York Times’ Damon Winter won an award for his Hipstamatic take on the daily lives of US soldiers in Afghanistan. It caused a stir over concerns that the app’s nostalgia-heavy styling romanticised war. Winter later issued a statement in defence of his camera choice.
Images from Hipstamatic and Instagram are obviously filtered, but in the history of photography there has never been such a thing as a pure image. The journey a photograph takes, from its moment of capture to its display online or in print, is riddled with varying degrees of manipulation and intervention. It starts with how the image is framed in the camera, passes via Photoshop (or the darkroom) and finishes as a cropped version next to some text (including advertising). All these stages influence how the picture is presented.
Photographers using these apps relish the creative freedom it gives. They are relieved of all the technical considerations of operating a DSLR, and can concentrate on composition, making the experience similar to shooting with a Holga. In addition, the iPhone is inconspicuous. For Winter, the fact that the other soldiers were also taking photos on their phones meant that his went virtually unnoticed.
The photograph should be an honest account of an event, but at the same time our choices should reflect the world around us. It is an interesting time: technology is developing rapidly and photographers (professional or not) want to explore new possibilities and push conventional boundaries.
So, even if we are simply seeing a fever for all things retro spilling over into photojournalism, with picture agencies using it as a way to make more money, we’re also seeing an industry-wide change in attitude. Professionals are mirroring an increasingly photo-savvy public. Is that a bad thing? Should the Guardian reconsider the kind of photography they use?
Karin Andreasson The Guardian
All of the actual shots before photoshopping…..
– Post a short response below that outlines your own position regarding the nature of the photograph as ‘really real’.
– Reflect on whether photographs are so unlike other sorts of pictures that they require unique methods of interpretation and standards of evaluation.
– Identify and respond to key ideas raised by Snyder and Allen (1975) and in the presentations.
– Refer to writers, theorists, and practitioners to support your views.
– Provide visual examples to illustrate your points.
– Reflect on any aspects of the ‘peculiar’ nature of the photograph that are important for your work.
Comment on the posts of your peers throughout the week as you consider the content of the presentations. Keep working and reflecting on your own practice in preparation for the webinar.
Even with the best editing tools around, it still needs a lot of skill to get colors, brightness, and contrast matched between the different parts of a composite photo. Take this image above, for example: Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu would be just about coming in contact to the back of the head of the Russian President if it were real.
Bear in mind you can study the backstory behind a photo as well as looking at the picture itself: Is the photographer a real person? Does the image match up with news reports?
Unexpected entrance American general Francis P. Blair (right) was added to Mathew Brady’s famous photo of General Sherman’s retinue because he was not at the meeting. (Courtesy: Fourandsix.com)
Vanishing commissar Josef Stalin’s Soviet regime regularly retouched photos to remove those who had fallen out of favor, such as the unfortunate commissar on the right. (Courtesy: Fourandsix.com)
Laws of composition These images from Iraq in 2003 were merged for the Los Angeles Times by photographer Brian Walski to “improve the composition”. He was later sacked. (Courtesy: Fourandsix.com)
Iran’s show of military might in 2008 was doctored to remove a launcher which failed to fire – and replaced with a fourth projectile. (Courtesy: Fourandsix.com)
Photography to me is an expression, an emotion, and a sense of achievement, and it’s the way I view my subjects. It is a capture of time and its sentiments of the moment. There’s so much to feel about the moment, and proceeds to being an art the moment I print – on art paper. canvas, steel, etc…I shoot what I see best, looking through the eye piece at times and on occasions, using the LED display for framing and angles. Technological advancements have relatively made photography much easier, as many might agree, but to me it has made me think more than when I was using film. Thinking more than the average film-based photographers comes from the digital “disadvantages” of noise ( when using high ISOs ), the camera’s dynamic range, and the resolution of analog. With all that crossing my mind each time I am about to take a shot, I would put a deeper thought before pressing the button.
As time goes by, my photographic work is shifting. Shifting from what I love initially to a much less recognizable, less understandable image. It all started with nature, the sea, rocks, the flow of water, the splashing of the waves, the rushing of seawater towards and residing from the beach. Sunrise was preferred, and friends congregate at various locations each and every weekends for a shot of the yolk. That went on for a while, and after a year of that, I felt I will have to move on to other more interesting subjects. Landscapes were then next on my list, so off I went taking shots of grasslands, hills and mountains, and each time I will include the sun or its rays shining across its path. I shot trees big and small, swaying with the wind, as if there’s a song in each shot I took. “ Earth Song “ by Michael Jackson, “ Rocky Mountain High” by John Denver, and “what a Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong…It seemed that music and photography play similar fiddle, and associating these do actually evoke special photographic results to my shots.
However, landscapes eventually progressed to Architecture, and it seemed more of what I’d love to shoot after all. Taking shots of tall futuristic monoliths, strange architectural designs, reflections and distortions from reflective surfaces, windows, water features, puddles, wet streets, rivers, sunglasses, etc. And obviously, the history in which these architecture was built could also be an inspiration too. Working into the shots, architectural images shouldn’t be just aesthetic and graphic ; they should also provide dynamism and movement as the light and shadows provide interest. Architecture is built on the principal of symmetry, so reminding myself to move around finding the right spot, angle and light, strengthens the composition. Each and every time I work on an architectural shot, I am now geared to wanting it to look more “dramatic”, more oomph in the real sense of the word. I started learning and using Photoshop to “enhance” my shots, and yes, there are times when I get criticism about how unreal the sky looks, how brightness and shadows should be edited, to name a few. There’s never a correct answer to that if I may add, but what I learnt from past mistakes are not to over processed the shot.
Years past and the urge to rethink the future of my photographic position started to shift once again, and this time the shift went onto macro photography. One may say that macro photography is the most tedious of all photographies. I must agree on this statement after having done a full year of macro photography myself. I even built my very own diffusers, large and small, for different macro shooting occasions . Lectured at Entopia, a large facility that boosts 15,000 free-flying butterflies, 150 species of flora and fauna, and many insects, covering over 60 species, on a 3-day macro workshop, covering from making of diffusers to setting the right camera settings and the use of flash. These was one my greatest moments of my photographic practice, sharing and educating the love of macro photography.
Moving on and finding new and more creative photo adventures, I find myself travelling to distant lands and to new pastures, and everything from past experiences came back to me. I was feeling excited all over again for that I am now able to shoot with much more confidence. Traveled to most Asian countries, all these are unforgettable experiences, about the arts, the ideas, their customs, and other manifestations of human intellectual regarded collectively. Looking into their art museums and photo exhibitions gave hints of their past.
When I was in Taiwan in 2017 for the Federation of Asian Photographic Art (FAPA) Congress, we were shown the arts and culture of Taiwan, and what is happening to the photographic community there. It was then a season of the “ghost” festival, The Ghost Festival is held during the seventh month of the Chinese calendar. It also falls at the same time as a full moon, the new season, the fall harvest, the peak of Buddhist monastic asceticism, the rebirth of ancestors, and the assembly of the local community. It was there that started the love of shooting human subjects, how they lived through their daily lives and how they celebrated their cultures.
Shot during one of the outings organised by the hosts, this shot above ( Fire Dancer ) was shortlisted in the 2018 World Photography Competition by Sony. From then on, I have been shooting more portraiture than ever before, and I hope that I could develop this further. I am still trying to connect what I had done in the past to what I am currently passionate about, and there could be a link that reflects a cohesive practice for me in my future photographic goals.
What is “photography” for you ?
I view Photography as a form of a still visualization of the freezed moment in time along with the colors, light , shadows and the overall environment.
How would you define it in the context of your own practice ?
Photography is therapy, as is music is my soul.
Are there any issues here which inform your own approach ( or that you reject ) ?
The only issues pertaining to that would be time and money.
My photographic projects will eventually transition or revolve around :
Landscapes / Architecture
– this will involve buildings and landscapes, both indoors and outdoors
Portraiture / Street
– people subjects being candid, or staged
telling a story using the medium of photography
Portrait of Szarkowski (cropped) in 1975 by Richard Avedon
Thaddeus John Szarkowski (December 18, 1925 – July 7, 2007) was a photographer, curator, historian, and critic. From 1962 to 1991 Szarkowski was the director of photography at New York’s Muzium of Modern Art (MoMA).
There might be some similarities into how photographers in general “see” the subject matter, and it was in John Szarkowski’s ( 1966 ) The Photographer’s Eye that went onto five characteristics of photography, namely –
The Thing Itself The first thing that the photographer learned was that photography dealt with the actual; he had not only to accept this fact, but to treasure it; unless he did, photography would defeat him . (Szarkowski, 1966, p.8)
The Detail The photographer was tied to the facts of things, and it was his problem to force the facts to tell the truth (Szarkowski, 1966, p.8)
The Frame Since the photographer’s picture was not conceived but selected, his subject was never truly discrete, never wholly self-contained. The edges of his film demarcated what he thought most important, but the subject he shot was something else, it had extended in four directions. (Szarkowski, 1966, p.9)
Time There is in fact no such thing as an instantaneous photograph. All photographs are time exposures of shorter or longer duration, and each describes a discrete parcel of time. This time is always present. (Szarkowski, 1966, p.10)
Vantage Point Much has been said about the clarity of photography, but little has been said about its obscurity. And yet it is photography that has taught us to see from the unexpected vantage point. (Szarkowski, 1966, p.10)
Portrait of Stephen shore, photographer unknown
Stephen Shore (born October 8, 1947) is an American photographer known for his images of banal scenes and objects in the United States, and for his pioneering use of color in art photography. His books include Uncommon Places (1982) and American Surfaces (1999), photographs that he took on cross-country road trips in the 1970s.
In 1975 Shore received a Guggenheim Fellowship In 1971, he was the first living photographer to be exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, where he had a solo show of color photographs. In 1976 he had a solo exhibition of color photographs at the Museum of Modern Art there. In 2010 he received an Honorary Fellowship from the Royal Photographic Society.
However, Stephen Shore’s Nature of Photographs perceives of how he relates a photograph, three levels were presented :
The Physical Level The physical qualities of the print determine some of the visual qualities of the image ( Shore, 1998, p.6 )
The Depictive Level On the depictive level, there are 4 central ways in which the world in front of the camera is transformed into the photograph; flatness, frame, time and focus…They form the basis of the photograph’s visual grammar. ( Shore, 1998, p.17 )
The Mental Level You see a mental image – a mental construction – when you read this page or look at a photograph or anything else in the world. ( Shore, 1998, p.55 )
Szarkowski, John (1966) The Photographer’s Eye, Museum of Modern Art, New York
Shore, Stephen (1998) The Nature of Photograph, Baltimore, John Hopkins University Press