I think I know at least a part of the reason why I like these little snaps that I posted last night. They feel authentic to me.
I don't usually think of myself as a person who admires "capture" very much, so maybe I'm changing just a little. Maybe, like so many of my students, I also find myself searching for photos that have a certain "realness" to them -that give me a sense that the people in them were actually like that.
In the photos I posted last night the subjects are not at all embellished. They're not photoshopped to death; they're not posing. That's just how they were at that minute. Especially when I think about these particular photos and know how old they are...some of these people are now dead and these photos give me a chance to view the mood and character of their life experiences.
Very little mind is given to composition. The people aren't carefully centered or balanced. The pizza girl is falling out of the frame. In the photo of the farm women, entire left hand side of the shot is blown out, the women have their backs to the camera and all the forms are bunched up -like a clot- in the middle...there's also that strange little half-person on the right hand side....etc...
They are unstudied and unpretentious. They're nubby -like fabric with an uneven weave- imperfect.
Whenever I go to Photolucida, what I see are portfolios with projects that are well-considered, highly polished...they're like the difference between valium and valerian. They're these refined, sliver-thin slices of perfection. And don't get me wrong: I like them. A lot. But I miss the simplicity of the transparent window that photos used to be...of things as they actually are. OK, yeah...I know this is dumb to say. That "things as they actually are" is a ridiculous idea to even consider. Because perspective. Because interpretation. Whatever. I'm saying it anyway, and then tomorrow I'll change my mind again.