February 2012


Feb 29 | By Joerg Colberg

Meditations on Photographs: Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, USA June 24 1992 by Rineke Dijkstra

We have abandoned our belief in ancient myths and folk tales, we have replaced them with our own, modern, presumably enlightened ones. There is no more goddess Venus, there is the razor instead or the pop song (enjoy counting the ancient myths in this version). Here then is our Venus, photographed by Rineke Dijkstra. Reflecting our times, our Venus is anonymous, but we get to find out where and when the photograph was taken: Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, USA June 24 1992. (more)
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Feb 22 | By Joerg Colberg

Meditations on Photographs: Antietam, Md. Confederate dead in a ditch on the right wing by Alexander Gardner

There is the idea that photography steals the soul. We think that is a childish, a primitive belief. But photography’s, or more accurately the camera’s presence has a strange power over us that is not that far from stealing our soul. I had to think of that when I came across this photograph while researching images for a class on the history of photography. This is a photograph by Alexander Gardner entitled Antietam, Md. Confederate dead in a ditch on the right wing, one of the many the photographer produced around that Civil War battle (see the technical notes at the very bottom for more information about it). (more)
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Feb 15 | By Joerg Colberg

Meditations on Photographs: Jacob Israel Avedon, Sarasota, Florida, May 15, 1971 by Richard Avedon

Our memories are our own personal histories. As we age, they accumulate, usually in flattering, merciful ways. This is how Nature has our brains operate, to allow us to preserve a modicum of dignity (or what we think dignity might be). On the other side, the literally other side: the surface of the skull, Nature tends to be less kind. Here, we cannot easily hide that which we do not want to share. In our faces, we see our history, we see what life has done to us. As we age, we age visibly. (more)
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Feb 9 | By Joerg Colberg

Photography and Doubt

In photography, trust and doubt are like yin and yang: You cannot have one without the other, you have to balance one against the other. Trust and doubt exist in a complex relationship. They don’t just have to balance each other, they also have to drive each other. Trust has a lot to do with one’s photographic instincts: To see the photograph, to take it, and to then know that what was there to be taken has in fact been taken. But doubt interjects, knowing that while what might have been taken has been taken, what was seen could have been seen in a different way. Trust is centered on the realization that one is a good photographer. But there is the doubt, the constant asking whether one might not become a better photographer. (more)
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