Social Landscape Lecture Notes

Something to think about.

Paradigm: an accepted thought/meaning

Eadweard Muybride’s ‘Horse in Motion’ is truth because of the indexical nature of photography: a horse ran throug tripwires that triggered a sequence of shutters. Before Muybridge, paintings of horses were inaccurate as the human eye cannot record how horses move. 

Muybrudge, from a series of images, made the first moving pictures and presented these with a carousel 

1892 The Brotherhood of Linked ring was founded by Henry Peach Robinson; it was an organisation of photographers whom defended photography as an art practice and not solely scientific. 

Alfred Stieglitz believed that images should not be adjusted: Edward Weston pushed the boundaries; he made a 6 minute long exposure of a pepper creating an obscure appearance, but there was still recognition of the object. 

1932, August Sander wanted to document the social truth of pre-Nazi Germany and its labour force, although the political context later meant that Sander’s work was destroyed. 

1898, Eugene Atget – Paris 

Man Ray’s Raoygrams introduced another new medium in painting with light by exposing light onto the plate with objects on top.

Man Ray Rayogram

Simon Norfolk was a photojournalist in Afghanistan, but as the press dictated what images were released (to which nearly all were gruesome front line), Norfolk felt out of control and wanted to change the ways of war photography. 


He suggests that what is invisible is so important. 

The idea of how the wire reduces the power of the photographer is portrayed by Roy Stryker: from 164,000 developed negatives some 77,000 printed for the press: this gave him the power as to what people saw.

Paul Strand’ Blind Woman – opens up whether this is appropriate, but also is like ‘fishoutwater;ohgjerg”

‘The Americans’ Robert Frank- toured America taking over 30,000 images, selecting 83 to depict the nature of what it was to be American.

Lewis Heine documented migration of Ellis Island (slavery)

Patzsch was part of ‘New Objectivity’, an organisation which captured public life of Weimar Germany. 

Benjamin Stone: Birmingham Photographer 

Library Congress: American Library of every publication

Susan Sontag says: ‘In teaching us a new visual code, photographs alter and enlarge our notions of what is worth looking at and what we have a right to observe. They are a grammar and, even more importantly, an ethics of seeing. Finally, the most grandiose result of the photographic enterprise is to give us the sense that we can hold the whole world in our heads — as an anthology of images’


Ontology: Nature of being

Quintessence : The aspect of something regarded as the intrinsic and central constituent of its character.

Intrinsic Meaning: Belonging to something Vernacular – Language

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