Notes, Thoughts, and Observations
What you exclude from a photograph is as important as what is within the frame. Getting that balance right is the key to engaging the viewer's imagination.
Photography allows one to be alone with what and whom one photographs in, at its best, a shared moment of solitude.
‘The geometry, he [HCB] is now saying, comes from what’s there, it’s given to one, if one is in a position to see it.’ (John Berger, ‘A Man Begging in the Metro: Henri Cartier-Bresson’, 1996).
‘Nothing is lost, he [Henri Cartier-Bresson] says, all that you have ever seen is always with you.’ (John Berger, ‘A Man Begging in the Metro: Henri Cartier-Bresson’, 1996).
Once again, Cartier-Bresson on photography: ‘It’s a state of being, a question of openness, of forgetting yourself.’
‘For the French, an intellectual didn’t have to be responsible. That wasn’t his job’ - Michel Houellebecq, Submission, p. 221.
According to Wittgenstein, it is a mistake `to treat all intellectual endeavours as if they were attempting to be like science’ - John Searle, The Great Philosophers, ed. by Bryan Magee (1987), p. 335.
If science gives us a hold on the world, art gives us a hold on our humanity.
'I am drawn to that small space called a human being ... a single individual. In reality, that is where everything happens' (Svetlana Alexievich)
From the sociology conferences I have attended over the years I have come away with the distinct impression that, with regard to photography and visual culture, sociologists are twenty years behind the curve of modern languages and critical theory, bearing in mind that those fields, in their turn, are ten years behind anthropology, which itself is five years behind what practitioners actually do.