Dining Out

Dining Out © Knut Skjærven

Dining Out © Knut Skjærven

Just to celebrate the revival of the mother of all blogs in the barebones family, here is a photo shot in 2012. Summer is already there and so it outdoor dining.

Why do I say this? Because this blog was originally called Barebones Communication and it brought all my interested in street photography with it. I have not really posted to it since 2010. Even so, it takes more visits than any other blog that I have.

Click the image to see where it takes you.  Could well be an outdoor dinner in Berlin this summer. With good company to go with it.

Good day to all.

© Knut Skjærven

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Szarkowski Wrap Up.

Tuscany Teaser. Copyright.

Just a few words to wrap up the section on John Szarkowski.

Szarkowski is a former Director of Photography at New York’s Museum of Modern Art.

Apart from being a celebrated manager at MOMA he also was a keen photographer and scholar. He has written two books on photography: The Photographer’s Eye and Looking at Pictures. I happen to own a copy of each.

You get to look at pictures. One at the time. You get to better understand the visual language of photography. You get to read Szarkowski’s eye opening comments to many of the pictures.

I can only say this: Both books are great reads. Their content goes beyond photography, and Szarkowski’s keen sense of images and text makes them pure joy. They are books about communication.

You may start here:

Szarkowski: Introduction.

Szarkowski: The Thing Itself

Szarkowski: Vantage Point.

Szarkowski: The Detail.

Szarkowski: Time.

Szarkowski: The Frame.

Good luck with Szarkowski.

Szarkowski: The Thing Itself.

The Thing Itself. Copyright 2009: Knut Skjærven.

“More convincingly than any other kind of picture, a photograph evokes the tangible presence of reality. Its most fundamental use and its broadest acceptance has been as a substitute for the subject itself – a simpler, more permanent, more clearly version of the plain fact.

Our faith in the truth of a photograph rests on our belief that the lens is impartial, and will draw the subject as it is, neither nobler nor meaner. This faith may be naive and illusory (for though the lens draws the subject, the photographer defines it), but is persists. The photographer’s vision convinces us to the degree that the photographer hides his hand.”

Library Thing.

This is a barebones pitstop post. For more pitstop posts, please go to pitstop puzzle.

Other posts on Szarkowski: IntroductionThe Thing Itself, The Detail, The Frame, Time, Vantage Point.

Szarkowski: Vantage Point.

Vantage Point. Copyright 2009 Knut Skjærven.

“If the photographer could not move his subject, he could move his camera. To see the subject clearly – often to see it at all – he had to abandon a normal vantage point, and shoot his picture from above, or below, or from too close, or too far away, or from the back side, inverting the order of things’ importance, or with the nominal subject of his picture half hidden.

From his photographs, he learned that the appearance of the world was richer and less simple than his mind would have guessed.

He discovered that his pictures could reveal not only the clarity but the obscurity of things, and the these mysterious and evasive images could also, in their own terms, seem ordered and meaningful”.

John Szarkowski: The Photographers Eye, The Museum of Modern Art, New York 2009.

Library Thing.

This is a barebones pitstop post. For more pitstop posts, please go to pitstop puzzle.

Other posts on Szarkowski: Introduction, The Thing ItselfThe DetailThe FrameTimeVantage Point.


Szarkowski: The Detail.

Lady in Red.

Lady in Red. Copyright 2007: Knut Skjærven.

“Once he left the studio, it was impossible for the photographer to copy the painters’ schemata. He could not stage-manage the battle, like Uccello or Velásquez, bringing together elements which had been separate in space and time, nor could he rearrange the parts of his picture to construct a design that pleased him better.

From the reality before him he could only choose that part that seemed relevant and consistent, and what would fill his plate. If he could not show the battle, explain its purpose and its strategy, or distinguish its heroes from its villains, he could show what was too ordinary to paint: the empty road  scattered with cannon balls, the mud encrusted on the caisson’s wheels, the anonymous faces, the single broken figure by the wall.

Intuitively, he sought and found the significant detail. His work, incapable of narrative, turned toward symbol.”

John Szarkowski: The Photographers Eye, The Museum of Modern Art, New York 2009.

Library Thing.

This is a barebones pitstop post. For more pitstop posts, please go to pitstop puzzle.

Other posts on Szarkowski: Introduction, The Thing Itself, The DetailThe FrameTimeVantage Point.

Obama: Window of Opportunity.

Obama: Window of Opportunity. Copyright 2009: Knut Skjærven.
Obama: Window of Opportunity. Copyright 2009: Knut Skjærven. All rights reserved.

Do I have to comment on this shot? I don’t think so.

Yes, I am rather proud of this visual “combination of elements”. This is, imho, barebones photography at is best. Simple, straight, no fuzz.

Enjoy.

Introducing The Barebones Mirror Test

Doing The Barebones Mirror Test. Shot in Berlin 2008. Copyright 2009: Knut Skjærven

Doing The Barebones Mirror Test. Shot in Berlin 2008. Copyright 2009: Knut Skjærven

You need to do the barebones mirror test.

What is the barebones mirror test? Simply this: If you hold up a mirror to your project, which in  this case is the barebones communication project, you should see the same structural picture that you see when you turn the barebones investigative light source to foreign, external objects. And you should describe, analyse and judge the mirror picture by the same criteria as you do with non mirror objects.

I could do a barebones analysis of my iMac as an external object since the iMac is what is in front of me every time I occupy myself with this blog. To a certain extent I already did.

I also could do a barebones analysis of the barebones communication project, which of course is a very different object from my iMac or any Mac.

However, in some respects they are pretty similar. They are both types of objects; they are both “things” that I perceive; the are both things in which I take an interest, they are both “close” to me. I could continue this list of similarities, but it will not necessary.

The mirror test is (hereby) invented to try to assure consistence between with what I/you are saying, and what I/you are doing. I tall task, I know, but maybe this is just the right time for a thorough barebones mirror test. Even in other areas than those related to this blog.

If you pass the mirror test, you can proudly say that your work will not fall apart on being self referring inconsistent. It may fall apart for a number of other reasons, but not this very important one of being inconsistent.

So how do you perform a barebones mirror test? First thing you do is get yourself a mirror. You might do the test even without a mirrow in your hand, but leave such lofty ambitions till you get proper training in doing the test. Go get a mirror.

This post is to be continued …