Szarkowski 1966 – “The Thing Itself”

“the factuality of his pictures, no matter how convincing and unarguable, was a different thing than the reality itself. Much of the reality was filtered out in the static little black and white image, and some of it was exhibited with an unnatural clarity, and exaggerated importance. The subject and the picture were not the same thing, although they would afterwards seem so.  It was the photographer’s problem to see not simply the reality before him but the still invisible picture, and to make his choices in terms of the latter.

This was an artistic problem, not a scientific one, but the public believed that the photograph could not lie, and it was easier for the photographer if he believed it too, or pretended to. Thus he was likely to claim that what our eyes saw was an illusion, and what the camera saw was the truth. ”

Excepted from “The Photographers Eye”

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