Using John Szarkowski Photographers Eye Theory




I recently read John Szarokowski’s 1964 book The Photographers Eye. This was produced to cover M.O.M.A first critically acclaimed photography exhibition, in the book he cover the topics which he sees are the 5 basic principles of a photograph. They are

THE THING ITSELF

This is my Cat Millie she runs the house. The look on her face makes me think of Robert De Niro In Taxi Driver http://www.filmsite.org/wavfiles/taxidriver2.wav

THE DETAIL

As you can see from the information the image gives you . She is a cute cat with fine gray fur and eyes that could melt ice burghs. She is always alert never switching off. She can be very placid when she can be bothered with human interaction. The closeness of the image gives the scale human qualities as often used by the likes of William Eggleston

THE FRAME

The framing of the image shows that she is in a house lording it up on a chair. The slightly off centre subject in the image gives you a feel of warmth and content maybe sat in front room

TIME

I had to be quick and get the cat looking straight into the lens of the camera, had she have been looking away it would have lost some power and honesty it was taken at 1/8 f8 iso 100 flash +2 zoom 50mm

VANTAGE POINT

The subject is the key to the image . We are not interested in anything else the image has to offer other than maybe its indoors. Taken from higher vantage point i.e standing; the cat would have looked different. A shot from the side would be distracted by a clock case or the T.v. So on my knees close in at the cats view of things makes us engage with the subject.

These are simple thing you can do every time you take a photo. a simple image can when broken down tell so much. What do you think?

 

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Author: alanwhitfield80

Hello! I get about a bit so here about me first. I am a visual artist and poet who works within the context of fine art. My work is grounded in documentary, exploring the inner beauty of everyday life through various lens based media. Notions of nostalgia and social commentary are present, but from a definite northern working class perspective. Instinctively I exploring the townscapes of North Wales and the North West, often producing work that reflects the every day minutiae of life.

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