How can we capture a photo depicting the true original nature of the subject?
I’ve been pondering this question for the past week. There are so many elements that go into this theme. We could look at the editing process and how photos can be manipulated to the point where they no longer show the truth. We could look at the subject matters the photographers focus on and how they might influence what the photographer is trying to say. We could even look at the equipment a photographer uses and how they use it. All these factors could take away from the true form of the photo.
So, what is the true form of a photograph? To me, it’s the truth of a person, place, or situation in which they are depicted accurately as the owner would see them in the original state. They wouldn’t include filters or edits that change the original appearance, but rather help maintain it.
I recently learned of an artist who focused on the truth within his photography and who has now become a great source of personal inspiration. Robert Frank was a revolutionist for his time within the photography industry. Seemingly unfocused and blurry, his photos weren’t thought to be within the industry standard. But, Frank brought something new to the table. His published work, The Americans, didn’t focus on the iconic, rather the everyday lives of the ordinary people and his pictures brought to light a side of American culture that had yet to be depicted.
What I like most about his work is the realness behind it. It isn’t posed or fake in anyway. The kind of truth he reveals is what draws me back again and again.
Featured Photo: https://www.americansuburbx.com/2013/05/john-szarkowski-on-robert-franks-book-the-americans-1986.html