As a photographer and artist I think it’s important to realize where our roots come from. Bill Jenkin’s Understanding Photographs course at ASU is really great. Its lecture based discussion helps us to realize the unique artistic style that photography brings to the world and how we as the photographers can harness its infinite and distinctive powers of relaying messages.
One man, whom I consider to be a hero of photography, is someone who helped me going to school to study photographic art even a possibility. The godfather of artistic photography, Alfred Stieglitz led an artistic reform based around the novel concept that taking a photograph was more than just simply recording what was blankly in existence. This is still something that a lot of unsuspecting people cannot overcome; the idea that the camera and a picture reveal truth.
My position on the subject is more of one that the photograph shows us what is there and what is possible. It can illustrate light or motion too fast or too slow for the human eye to register, to tell of what is true, but maybe not seen by us. Photography is so appealing because people assume that what is shown must be true, must be real because it was not fabricated with paint, but registered with a machine! This is the advantage I am in love with! Forget Photoshop for a moment; forget dodging, burning, and multiple exposures! Sometimes even an interesting angle or vantage point can alter reality and convey the message of the artist. At this point in my work I am so interested in the straight photography that is telling of our times and the human way, without any trickery.
Hats off to the founding father for working so hard to make photography an independent form of expression, and for adding a much needed layer of thinking to the human experience.