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Summary: Technical Details

The Getty Museum YouTube series and the Allversity lecture on the history of photography both touch on the history of the daguerreotype, focusing on its role in the canon of photography as well as the technical aspects of producing these silver-faced copper plates. The daguerreotype process is a method of image capturing that places an … Continue reading

Surrealism as a Secret for Success

Given the striking correspondence in language between Amanda Fortini’s analysis of Kim Kardashian’s success (posted on Papermag.com) and the remarks Susan Sontag offers in On Photography regarding the inherent surrealism of photography, I want to consider whether the latter might refine the former. Per Fortini, Kardashian in person “seems amplified, tumescent”, her features made uncanny by … Continue reading

Mourning the Real through Photography: A Brief Summary of Sontag’s “Melancholy Objects”

“Essentially the camera makes everyone a tourist in other people’s reality, and eventually in one’s own.” –Susan Sontag, On Photography In “Melancholy Objects”, one of many essays featured in her 1977 collection On Photography, Sontag analyzes the photograph as a cultural and historic object to establish distinct ideological and ontological paradigms between American and European photography. Despite these aesthetic and philosophical distinctions across time and … Continue reading

Summary: Portrait Path

The chapter, “Portrait Path” in Risto Sarvas and David M. Frohlich’s From Snapshots to Social Media – The Changing Picture of Domestic Photography traces the history of early photography from the 1803s to the 1890s. Over this period, photo technology evolved to suit consumer demands and allow for new affordances, but also reflects current trends … Continue reading

Summary for Kodak Path

The beginning of the article explains how collodion wet plates were replaced by dry plates in 1871 which made it possible to mass produce the plates and sell them pre-processed. George Eastman however saw there was no monopoly potential in dry plates and was set out to invent a complete system of roll film, roll … Continue reading

The Autographer’s first journey; or, how photos lie

During our first class last Friday, a blog post that I wrote over a year ago came up in conversation as we were discussing the many reasons why and how digital photos can be inauthentic. As promised, I’ve re-posted the original here in case anyone is interested in giving it a read-through: Alright, so I know … Continue reading

Aimée Morrison: My Selfie(s), Myself

Do we have some sort of primal urge to #selife? I took this today:     I’ve taken a lot of selfies in the past week, actually. I present them here in their variousness and their different deployments for your consideration. What work do these images do? How do they seek to represent me, what … Continue reading

Let’s just get things straight …

This is a course in digital photography, focused on digital photographs as biographical and autobiographical devices. People write memoirs, and are lauded for their skill and introspection. People document their lives and selves in biographical photographs, and are derided as narcissistic. Let’s not be judgy. And let’s not talk about “them” and what “they” do–let’s … Continue reading

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