IC - Week 3 - Constucted realities - 2

Hunters and farmers

"[Jeff] Wall divides photographers into two camps, hunters and farmers, the former tracking down and capturing images, the latter cultivating them over time." Charlotte Cotton, The Photograph as Contemporary Art

Classifying photographers as hunters or farmers seems to be very effective in majority of cases but limiting in some which are of more unconventional nature. My current practice is an example of a such one - I think I am both, a hunter and a farmer. My image-making process includes a hunt in the initial stage (although sometimes I have an impression that it is actually the opposite and I am hunted by the objects around me), and then cultivation - building up the open, dynamic composition with the use of the rephotography method.

The word 'cultivate' is actually very adequate to that part of my process where I create the settings/grounds for the new forms to appear (moire, reflections). 

I found the reference to a 'hunt' as a description of the act of photographing in the Vilem Flusser book "Towards a philosophy of photography":

"The act of photography is like going on a hunt in which photographer and camera merge into one indivisible function. This is a hunt for new states of things, situations never seen before, for the improbable, for information" (Flusser)

The ,new states of things' and 'situations never seen before' and 'improbable' is in essence what I do in my practice. The Flusser's 'hunt' has a much wider meaning. It consist of capturing 'what can be photographed' as a 'state of things', and translating it into 'image of concepts' with choosing the camera categories subordinate the camera's program which offers the inexhaustible possibilities.

So, one could say that in fact every photograph has a 'hunt' factor. Even when the subject is staged/constructed, the very moment of taking a record involve all the possible considerations which normally take place. When 'shooting' there is always a hunt for that very precise 'decisive' moment, vantage point, focus, time of exposure etc.  the ideal combination of them which will in best way convey the author's concept.


REFERENCES:

  • Flusser, Vilem (2000) "Towards a philosophy of photography", Reaktion Books
  • Cotton, Charlotte, (2014) "The Photograph as Contemporary Art", Thames and Hudson Ltd