The Photographer as Auteur
John Gossage from The Thirty-Two Inch Ruler / Map Of Babylon
“Is the great photographer characterized by style? There is a presumption, with the recent art market interest in the medium, that photographers who are artists rather than mere photographers distinguish themselves as such by exhibiting a marked style. Style equals branding, and branding means sales, so we get the fairly common phenomenon of the photographer who hits upon one extraordinary image and then repeats it, with minor variations, for the rest of his or her career.
Or are the really great photographers drawn from the ranks of those who reject visual style in favor of visual sensibility, those who recognize that the medium is profligate rather than reductive, and more akin to the film or the novel than the painting? Those accordingly, who tend to put content before form.
Style in photography – at its best – should emanate from a particular response to a particular subject and a particular set of circumstances, acted upon by a particular sensibility. So we can identify almost immediately a Robert Frank, a William Eggleston, or a Robert Adams, but we cannot ascribe to them a particular style, a predetermined aesthetic, as we can to so many other photographers who take care that their look, pared down to the reductivity of a signature, make them easily branded in the market.”
– from John Gossage, the Photographer as Auteur, by Gerry Badger in The Pleasures of Good Photographs
Shoot images that reveal your “style” or “sensibility” as a photographer through your conceptual concerns, ideas and/or curiosities, your photographic vision as well as your sense of technical execution and craftsmanship.
In considering your photographic vision and use of camera aesthetics, give particular attention to your use of the photographic frame, vantage point, moments of exposure and the role and use of light to reveal your interpretation of the thing itself and details as they relate to your “style” or “sensibility” as a photographer.
It is essential that your efforts reflect a sense of considered thought, active visual exploration and is articulated with a cohesive vision and photographic sensibility.
For the critique (see Calendar for Due Date) and evaluation, please complete the following:
Minimum of four (4) – finished photographic prints that reveal your “style” or “sensibility” as a photographer through your conceptual concerns, ideas and/or curiosities, your photographic vision as well as your sense of technical execution and craftsmanship.
All photographic prints are required to be made in the Grossmont College Analog | Digital Imaging/Photography Labs.
Turn-in all critique materials in a manila envelope for evaluation and feedback.