Eaglo Paint Seasonal Photos

Fading advert from the 1930's ~ Photographed by Frank H. Jump on Nostrand Avenue in Brooklyn, NYC

This series of seasonal photographs was taken by Frank Jump, a photographer in New York, who wanted to show his interpretation of the fading memories of the 1930's adverts in New York City.

He chose to freeze these moments from the same angle every season, to illustrate how we interpret the same subject in different seasonal states. These photographs perhaps represent the artistís nostalgia for the past. Because of this we can assume that he was making a record of something, a selection from his interpretation of the environment around him. The moment he froze on four occasions is unique to itself as is the way the photographer perceived it when he took the photographs.

Copyright © Frank H. Jump 1998, 1999
Charlie (A Photojournalistic Essay)

Charlie and his home on the street ~ Photographed by Neil Garcia, NYC

This sequence of photographs is part of a photographic interpretation known as photojournalism. They belong to a photojournalistic essay about a homeless man in New York. The pictures have a clear purpose - to indicate specific instances in the subject's life, and to tell a story.

The subject is a human being and the photographer attempts to express his own interpretation of this human being's life as a homeless person. He does so, either because he finds Charlie interesting or, to sensitise his audience to the problems being faced by an ordinary person that many others usually ignore. The text that originally accompanied these photographs, explained these problems which are not all visible in the images. [I cannot find this text anymore]

It is possible that the photographer as an artist, has chosen to take the photos in sephia on purpose, to further indicate his feelings about the subject. Just as the painter may add darker colors to his or her paintings to change their mood, this photographer, has chosen a colorless medium, to darken the overall mood of his work. [This may remind some of Marshal McLuhan's famous "the medium is the message"] By introducing text with the the images, the photographer suitably complimented these images with his sensitive attitude towards his subject, and a thorough description of the problems he faces.

Copyright © Neil Garcia
Society

The Politician ~ The Ecowarriors ~ The Gravedigger ~ Photographed by David Modell, UK

These three photographs have a different purpose. The photographer has taken them not only to compliment his text, but also for historical significance. They depict certain sterotypes in the end of the 90's in Britain. His purpose is to record a images of a particular decade and some social conditions within it. The decade represented is has since left us - the photos remain.

The photographs are both of political, and social significance, to a certain extent, depicting both the smiling politician on one side [Michael Portillo] and the gloomy gravedigger on the other. The young ecowarriors are in the middle, who can belong to either the social or political spheres of society. Again the photographer demonstrates that he is not only freezing the world around him as it is, but also how he interprets it to be. He has chosen black and white film, and has caught the subjects in rather stereotypical situations. Every individual can still interpret the subjects differently - this is how the photographer paints his own picture of them, for others to see.

The photographs may or may not represent the photographer's opinions about the subjects or the truth behind them - but definitely sets the scene for how the viewer is likely to decode his message.

For example, in third photograph, the gravedigger is bald, gloomy, and dirty-looking. David Modell has caught the subject in this state, to identify with his point of view. He has shot the photograph to capture the subject as he believes appropriate. He could have taken a photograph of the gravedigger smiling and looking less unfortunate [or gloomy], but that would change the end-interpretation entirely.

Copyright © David Modell, 1997
My Cup

Different interpretations of the same object ~ Photographed by me in Aberystwyth, Wales

The next four photographs were taken by myself to enhance my argument to a certain extent. They depict different interpretations of exactly the same subject - an object that is in complete stasis, and therefore does not move. Each photograph is so different to the other three, that four different people could have taken each one. In each photograph the angle is different but the subject remains static. The photographs show that although the subject may not change, a variable such as the viewing angle, may change the way we perceive of the subject.

The way in which each photograph was taken did not change. I did not choose the film, quality, or the exposure. They were all taken with the same digital camera. As soon as I had them on disk though, I became as a painter, painting various interpretations of the same subject. I further added to this process, by cropping them enhancing their colors, to fit my view of the subject.

It was I who made the photographs look the way they do today, and I had full control of the final product, thus defining my interpretation of the subject. The use of digital technology for the purpose of defining more and more unique images makes Susan Sontag's quotation even more relevant.

Carskates

The inventor of carskates ~ Photographed by an unknown person, USA

Today's society is filled with advertising. Companies and individuals use the media to promote their ideas and products. These ideas may sound silly sometimes, but by using clever copywriting and photographs, the ideas can be promoted successfully, and may become trusted. This photograph is a classic example of a rather silly idea [Who would ever think of putting wheels on other wheels?] being promoted by the the photograph. The photographer's purpose is to demonstrate the product's use, to show how easy it is to use and to get the audience to trust this new invention.

The photographer sets the scene, showing the inventor with a smile on his face. Next to him is a car, and his invention. The inventor is demonstrating the use of his invention. As the photographer frames the moment as it is, he is in turn capturing the moment that he himself set up. Therefore, the photograph does not represent only what the photographer saw, but also his interpretation of what he saw, and the information that he wanted to convey.

Part 1

Introduction To Media Theory ~ University of Wales, Aberystwyth