Tuesday, March 6


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Can photographic images take on a cinematic quality? I've asked that before, right? It seems to perplex me. And if they do, can they focus their intent?

I sense that there are photographers with an inferiority complex. Outside of photojournalism, there are artists working in this medium who seem to think that they can only reproduce "found" realities. That they are always skittering along the edge of plagiarism. "An artist," one told me, "expresses himself through his medium. But we are left only with technique to do what we do. The actual subjects are created by other people, or in many cases, by God."

So the emphasis upon technique has become an obsession for many. They seek to maximize the "natural"... This is the Organic Movement. Regardless of how un-natural their mechanisms are, if the viewer accepts their final image in a way that allows for the "suspension of disbelief" so effectively that all "manipulations" seem transparent - then they have succeeded.

But the "suspension of disbelief" is at the essence theater and cinema. I contend that the ultimate objective of The Organic School of photography is to achieve a "Wow!" which is synonymous with the theatrical moment. I think that the aesthetic drive of critical photographic practice has become identical to that which builds the tracks for theatrical and cinematic acceptability.

Serious photographers are playwrights and directors rolled into one. They create the text and its display. Whether its a radiant vista, or a Norman Rockwell story-box, or an abstract or a macro exploration of texture, color and light... this is what is going on. And the end result is considerably greater than the sum of the found parts. Photographers, like the Edward Albees’, Tennessee Williams’, David Mamets’ and others - have become message bringers to an audience.

Or not... Your call...

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