All thinking photographers tussle with the twin-headed monste A book to savour; to come back to time and time again. The Photographer’s Eye by John Szarkowski is a twentieth-century classic–an indispensable introduction to the visual language of photography. It is in our progressive discovery of it that its history lies. Visit the Table of Contents for Resource Library for thousands of articles and essays on American art. Have you studied this book?. A comparison between the inclusion of a painting canvas and the exclusion of a camera viewfinder. The dry plate spawned the hand camera and the snapshot.

There’s a problem loading this menu right now. Thus he was likely to claim that what our eyes saw was an illusion, and what the camera saw was the truth. This position is given credence by the fact that images survive while memories fade, and hence the image often becomes the remembered reality. The soldiers on the bridge! Isolating a particular frame from its greater context, he trusts texture, color, and composition to point out relationships among disparate collections of phenomena. Any photographer interested in improving their composition and overall ability.

If photographdrs had purchased an eight by ten inch plate or worse, prepared ithad carried it as part of his back-bending load, and had processed it, he was not likely photogtaphers settle for a picture half that size.

Both swaths of intense color question whether we are looking at a surface or into a depth. Since the photographer’s picture was not conceived but selected, his subject was never truly discrete, never wholly self-contained. And why do they look that way?

Instead, it presents 5 expertly curated collections of photographs The Thing Itself, The Detail, The Frame, Time, and Vantage Point and it gives the viewer just a tiny bit of written information to consider regarding that collection.


No longer contending for status with other kinds of artists, photographers who construct their work using staged, found, and digitally manipulated imagery are now compared with those who do not. The second is when short time exposures allowed us to see details previously lost in the blur of movement. While so much new photography seems to engage abstractly, ironically, at a distance, the photographers in this exhibition find meaning in direct, personal experience.

The Photographer’s Eye

The character of this vision was discovered by photographers at work, as their awareness of photography’s potentials grew. The soldiers on the bridge! Wei grew up in Shanghai and came to the US to study photographere in ; the images in his series Chinese Sentiment were taken during trips home nearly a decade later.

TFAO neither recommends or endorses these referenced organizations. Although TFAO includes links to other web sites, it takes no responsibility for the content or information contained on those other sites, nor exerts any editorial or other control over them. Want to Read saving…. Email required Address never made public. The photographer was tied to the facts of things, and it was his problem to force the facts to tell the truth.

Cartier-Bresson is not referring to a dramatic climax but a visual […]. Posted in Writing Tagged artelliot erwittjeff walljohn szarkowskimodernismncadphotographyPhotography Criticismrealismthe photographer’s eyevisual culture 10 Comments.

john szarkowski the photographers eye essay

I go back and look at it often. The decline of narrative painting in the past century has been ascribed in large part to the rise of photography, which “relieved” the painter of the necessity of story telling. Szarkowski would say zsarkowski the painter selects from their imagination, whereas the photographer must select from the real world, however the rise of constructed and staged photography over the last few decades largely destroys this distinction.


Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. The photographer is witness capturing fragments of the truth, not the entire truth.

john szarkowski the photographers eye essay

Without the arts, life would be rather mundane, like a walk down the same old path on a dull day. Mar 31, S. The clean, sharp focus of Modernist photography, championed by Alfred Stieglitz essa in the twentieth century and later by Szarkowski, proposed instead that the formal qualities of a photograph qualified it as art.

Szarkoski is one of my favourite photography writers. Parts of figures or buildings or features of landscape were truncated, leaving a shape belonging not to the subject, but if the picture was a good one to the balance, the propriety, of the image.

Among them they produced a flood of images.

“The Photographer’s Eye:” A Way of Seeing

After reading Kevin Moore’s analysis [critique: Vantage point or perspective. Splash for Dash depicts a spray of bright paint on grayish, rough asphalt, the pink and purple splatters becoming a screen on the surface of the photograph.

john szarkowski the photographers eye essay

I open the shutter at the start of the song and then close it at the end. See and discover other items: Szarkowski, the legendary curator who worked at the Museum from tohas published many influential books. The Nature of Photographs: Whatever image you capture through the viewfiender is photography.