Thursday, July 16, 2009

46

19 comments:

  1. For some reason, I find this photograph rather eerie...and remnants of the past crawl through my mind: the shaved head; the boots; the weaponry; the confronting of a citizen...

    It's probably all very innocent and maybe he's trying to help the girl find her way home...and he might be a "good" policeman...but...

    Aaargh!

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  2. Why is this discrimination? The girl looks like she needs help... or at least shoes?

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  3. She was singled out for an ID check... discrimination....

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  4. Great photo and great title - Sean at his best, :-). It gives room to many interpretations, but I am with ellievellie: this girl might need help - look where her trousers and the belt are - besides not having shoes.

    Wish you a nice week or two - keep cool, it's chilling time! (as we Germans say).

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  5. Thank you Martina... back now and I did "chill"

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  6. Law and order...that's all it's about

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  7. One of the big issues with photography is that you can make a photograph mean anything just by changing the caption.

    Nice photos on this blog BTW Sean.

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  8. Agree Richard. I guess you are right and therefore "what is" becomes subjective...

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  9. Oh, and on this particular case they singled her out... I didnt feel too bad "going out on a limb" here cause that is what I felt it was, and no one could see the cops face. Thanks for the comment!

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  10. I'm rather interested in this though, because the whole business of "photographs lying" has resulted in photography losing a lot of credibility, which for me misses the point. People say there is no truth in a photograph - well there is often no objective truth in what we see with our own eyes either. Sometimes, as here, the photographer is privy to some context that needs to be added to the photo for it to be meaningful, but at the same time it casts a shadow. If we take this photo without a caption, I think it becomes a much better document, even because of it's ambiguity. It has merits irrespective of the context. Now of course it could be that you were actively trying to make a point about discrimination, and looking for a photo to support it. That's when we as photographers can get into trouble I think.

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  11. Richard, it is both fair and unfair to say there is no truth in a photograph. Imagine no caption here. I suggest that there would be comments about the police pulling over a "vagrant" girl to lock her up for some misdead. Or, perhaps they were trying to help her... no shoes, clothes etc. BUT.... I stood in front of a Globus and watched them pull over people to check ID. The only "white" person pulled over was her, and I questioned why... it seems that if you have no shoes on and no belt (as ludicrous as this seems), you get your id checked.... she simply didnt conform and that was that.. I saw it as discrimination... I agree with your points 100% but perhaps credibility has to be in the "photographer" and not the photograph. BUT AGAIN.... as I say that... I try and comment on my feelings rather and my thoughts and see where that leads, since I am predjudiced but then this is a way of me working out my own predjudices.... and thoughts and the result (photograph and title) is my form of expression.... I am careful though since they are real people and real lives and I dont want to offend either, so I do reign myself in where I could hurt someone... phew... looking forward to your comment on this one! :)

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  12. Sean - I'm not arguing with the pro's and con's of this particular situation, merely with the general issue of captioning photos. You could also say that a photo could forensically be proven to show exactly what it is said to do, but I'm doubtful, even more today. However, I disagree with your hypothesis that having no caption would result in the image being abused and mis-interpreted. Sure, people will draw conclusions, but the "truth" and it's distortions then lies in what is in their minds and not the photograph. It remains neutral. And of course no one could be definitive and say that "this photograph exhibits x or y" - they could only say that they thought it might show this or that.

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  13. Out of interest sake... the recent furoure over the photograph of Obama supposedly looking at the "rear" of an attractive woman at some function... did that not "need" a caption in order to legitamise it? People nowadays are cynical and I would suggest that more often than not, we draw the wrong conclusions. Please comment on the picture called "Churches in 2009" and tell me what you think...

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  14. Richard to add to that... we all have distortions in our mind, hence the need to comment and "clear" it up sometimes... if we were all pure of mind then no need.. I suggest that this is more complex than a few posts!

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  15. Sean - sure - it's a huge topic and involves more than just whether to caption a photo or not. For a start you need to investigate the whole genre that is called photography. Sometimes people forget the diversity, and the pervasiveness of photography, and for example I don't like the attitude of many fine art photographer who claim the high ground and state the street or documentary photography has no validity any longer purely because of the truth/reality issue. It's clear to me that in the sort of photography you are doing here - let's call it street - the key aspect, as illustrated by the blogs title is the relationship with the moment of capture, the photographer and the viewer. This is probably the unique aspect of photography as a genre. Other types of photography can be more or less equated with other genres.

    As regards "Churches.." I like the photo. I like what I see as humour, incongruity and of course the nice available light and silhouette. But aren't you letting your self admitted cynicism protrude a little? The caption says to me "In 2009 the churches are full of police". Now I've spent quite a bit of time in Italian churches recently and I haven't seen any police.........

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  16. Rihard.... purely by simply investigating the whole genre of photography does not make you a photographer... in fact I do not profess to be one. I am someone who enjoys people, I enjoy the moments captured and I enjoy interpreting MY reaction to them and peoples response to that and the photograph.

    More to this... I have made the point of stating that I am a cynic and therefore I have the expectation that my picture will be interpreted with my mind set in mind. Nothing more nothing less. While I dont profess to be an artist.... artists paint a reflection of their state of mind and then name that painting. What is different here, by taking a picture and adjusting it (photoshop or whatever), then naming it? It to me is near the same. Difference is that this is a more accurate reflection of what happened.

    Churches of 2009.... perhaps I should have called this Church in 2009. While you may not have seen this in your visits to Italy. I did. That cannot be changed and there in my opinion is nothing wrong with stating ''Churches of 2009'' to me, because during my visit to Italy, I saw this more than once. The photograph could be anything without a title. The fact that it was in a church is a fact. Hence the name. I did not name it ''Authority in Churches'', ''Evil Italian Police'' or anything more than simply what it was and what I had seen...

    Every time you edit or crop a photograph, and I admit that you may do this limitedly, you are allowing your perceptions, your emotions, your state of mind reflect in what you portray. Otherwise where and what is the difference in anyones photographs? A name is but one aspect of it...

    As I said before. Most of my names are relatively factual... Middle of the Week, Churches of 2009, Watching the rides of the funfair, no one can dispute this. I am very careful to post a name which reflects a fact on the situation. For it is what it is...

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  17. By the way, the girl singled herself out herself - everybody else is wearing shoes and apparently don't need winter cover for their head :) I stand with the policeman :) As I stand with Sergent Crowley against professor Gates. Tired of whining wackos!

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  18. The discussion above is one of the reasons that I have decided to number posts rather than title... just in case anyone thought Richard might be talking total #@%#$%#$%

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