When people get in the way


General Photography

In a recent post, Alec Soth discusses why he prefers to see people in photos, instead of looking at deserted land= or cityscapes or architectural interiors (Alec, there are people in Gursky’s 99 Cent, though!). The reason why I personally disagree is neatly summarized by Simon Norfolk in the interview that I linked to just a couple of days ago, while discussing photos of radar installations: “I think people kind of gobble up the photograph. They become what the photograph is. For me, people just aren’t that important; it’s about this panoptic process, it’s about this kind of eavesdropping, it’s about this ability to look into every aspect of our lives. And I think if you put people into these pictures, I don’t know – it would draw viewers away. It would draw viewers into the story of the people.” (emphases from the original, not mine)