Mirrors & Windows and reflections in between

As John Szarkowski faimously wrote that ”every photograph is either a mirror reflecting something about the artist who made it, or a window through which one might better know the world outside the artist” . Since then, writers, such as Susan Sontag and Roland Barthes, have questioned the distinction between these two ways of creating images and have focused philosophical attention on the power of all photography to manipulate our view of reality. Understanding this rage of reasoning is important, especially to look at the history of photography and understand the two extremes and the number of photographers who fall in the gray areas between. Many photographs defy categorization, because it can be analyzed in terms of how they capture the illusion of reality in images that can be categorized as being created for the camera.

Noted photography critic, Bill Jay, said “The best photographs are truly reflective of the photographer.”A good body of photographic work begins to reflect back to the viewer of the image and not only to the author`s relationship to the subject, but also to a unique set of life experiences.

Your personal photographic work can explore a theme with your newfound understanding of how you want your photographs to communicate, because the images you make can be mirrors or windows or a combination of the two.


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