Photographs on the Brain # 43

To break out of its documentary cage, photography must risk a kind of intellectual and existential promiscuity, an all-absorbing hunger that is at once outwardly directed and inwardly trained. It must learn to look, as William Blake had put it (well before photography was invented), not only “with”, but also “through”, the eyes. – Aveek Sen

©Peter Baker


©Nikolay Bakharev


©David Freud

A photograph can do many things at once. I can be exploring culture or I can be making decisions about what street to photograph to give a taste of this town or this age. At the same time, I can explore the medium formally, explore how the structure of a picture may give a taste of an age, how perception works, and how a photograph plays with it. I can also explore what you were saying, that sometimes the most mundane subject matter is the most telling because what gives the picture charge isn’t the cultural charge of the content as much as the awareness of the senses and the awareness of perception giving it a kind of visual resonance. It’s like those days or moments when maybe your mind gets a little quieter and space becomes more tangible, textures and colors become more vivid. – Stephen Shore


©Isabelle Fexa

©Jessica Eaton

©Judith Joy Ross


©Moritz Waldemeyer


©Cody Cobb

I take photographs to affirm reality, not explain reality and that reality often has a high level of ambiguity to it, which is subject to interpretation. So what one viewer discovers in a given image may be very different from what another viewer discovers. This particular photograph seems to suggest to you something about corporate culture, but another viewer might simply be amused by the similarity of be-suited figures and another viewer might find something else. I believe in photographs that have a level of ambiguity, images that work on suggestion, that ask questions rather than provide answers. – Alex Webb


©Tim Barber

©Michael Ten Pas

  • http://twitter.com/gmacgregor Greg MacGregor

    Saw that image by David Freund over at Blake Andrew’s blog a few weeks ago … I keep going back to it. A real eye bender.