Review of existential photography stuff on the web

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Here’s a round of web related items that look at existential photography in its various forms – and the many elements that can be attributed to photographic existentialism.

First off is Dylan McBurney’s A Form of Photographic Existentialism? McBurney discusses the existential elements of photography and how photographic aspirations are strongly linked to philosophy.

Certainly many of you will think that photography is that and nothing more, but for some of us it is indeed more than just the act of clicking.

Next is a selection of images at Photobucket. The many compositions contain elements of existentialism  these range from cartoons to slogans and well thought out existential situations.

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If books give your shelves a nice curve, you would do well to buy this book. Its called The Architecture of Image: Existential Space in Cinema. It covers the techniques that film directors use to create emotional, or existential senses in their films.

Remember 2001 A Space Odyssey. The final scenes where Bowman is all alone in the strange alien room with its uplit glass floors? That’s one example of existential space in films.

Is photography in a existential crisis? Well if anyone read the recent article extolling the end of professional photography, then yes there is an existential crisis, and this brings us to the next bit:

Blogger Lauren Margolis says “digital technology should be moving us forward and helping us to create anew; yet ironically, it has caused the current “stasis” of the medium in which photographers are simply recreating what has already been done.”

Sometimes I think photography is a medium that is expert at massive overkill. Digital cameras have now given us quantity – like satellite TV, we have perhaps 600 channels or more of photographic styles yet they are not so terribly different from each other. And if we are to believe the claims of some industry analysts, more than 99% of the images we produce will never be looked at!

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The work referred to by Margolis is an article by Joerg Colberg at Conscientious Extended. It looks at the problems facing photography, how photography is essentially running in circles, chasing its own tail. Ask Colberg asks us, is photography actually creating anything new these days?

Colberg has many points to ponder. Many of us think we are creating new stuff but its been done before so we are just churning out stuff that’s massively replicated and repeated zillions of times.

I think on one level we should all forget photography as a creative medium – well there isn’t much creativity left unless one masturbates one’s mind with regards to the endless Photoshop possibilities (in which it then one’s work just isnt photography anymore!)

Just enjoy taking photographs and forget the rat race that is the milieu of the countless photographers all trying to be better than the other – or get the ‘definitive’ shot that brings untold riches.

Last off is this photographic forum that attempts to discuss existential elements in photography. As one of the contributors says, “Life has no meaning. Each of us has meaning and we bring it to life. It is a waste to be asking the question when you are the answer.”

It’s much the same as six of one half a dozen of the other. Like Number Six we hope to find the identity of Number One – except that it turns out to be…. Number Six! Nevertheless there are some interesting insights and thoughts on the philosophies behind photography.

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