She believes photographs have an aura: http://archinect.com/features/article/84984077/in-focus-jade-doskow
The in focus section of the website is a great resource for architectural photographers. Must contact them upon completion of the new website:
Perspective as Symbolic Form
this “central perspective”
makes two tacit but essential assumptions: first, that we see with
a single and immobile eye, and second, that the planar cross section
of the visual pyramid can pass for an adequate reproduction
of our optical image. In fact these two premises are rather bold
abstractions from reality, ifby “reality” we mean the actual subjective
optical impression. (p 29)
Visual space and
tactical space [Tastraum] are both anisotropic and unhomogeneous
in contrast to the metric space of Euclidean geometry: ‘the main
directions of organization – before-behind, above-below, rightleft
– are dissimilar in both physiological spaces.’ (p 30)
In a sense, perspective transforms psychophysiological
space into mathematical space. It negates the differences
between front and back, between right and left, between
bodies and intervening space (“empty” space), so that the sum
of all the parts of space and all its contents are absorbed into a
,single “quantum continuum.” It forgets that we sec not with a
single fixed eye but with two constantly moving eyes, resulting
in a spheroidal field of vision. It takes no account of the enormous
difference between the psychologically conditioned “visual
image” through which the visible world is brought to our
consciousness, and the mechanically conditioned “retinal image”
which paints itself upon our physical eye (p 31)
construction ignores the crucial circumstance that this retinal
image – entirely apart from its subsequent psychological “interpretation,”
and even apart from the fact that the eyes move – is a
projection not on a flat but on a concave surface. Thus already
on this lowest, still prepsychologicallevel of facts there is a fundamental
discrepancy between “reality” and its construction.
This is also true, of course, for the entirely analogous operation (p 31)
What is most interesting is
that Kepler fully recognized that he had originally overlooked
or even denied these illusory curves only because he had been
schooled in linear perspective. He had been led by the rules of
painterly perspective to believe that straight is always seen as
straight, without stopping to consider that the eye in fact projects
not onto a plana tabella but onto the inner surface of a
sphere. II And indeed, if even today only a very few of us have perceived
these curvatures, that too”is surely in part due to our habituation
– further reinforced by looking at photographs – to linear
perspectival construction: a construction that is itself comprehensible
only for a quite specific, indeed specifically modern, sense
of space, or if you will, sense of the world. (p34)
Antique perspective is furthermore the expression of an equally specific
and equally unmodern conception of the world….Whdy did the ancients
fail to take the apparently small step of intersecting the visual pyramid
with a plane and thus proceed to a truly exact and systematic construction
They did not do it because that feeling for sapce which was seeking expression
in the plastic arts simply did not demand a systematic space (p43)
Sounding like Thomas Kuhn, he points out that “leadership” transfers from
one country or genre to another when work in an aesthetic direction can no
longer bear fruit. (p47). Of course that kind of speciation of work was possible
before global communication and transportation took on its current dimension.
“the image of the infinitely distant points of all the orthogonals” is, in a sense,
the concrete symbol for the discovery of the infinite itself (p57)
the result [of the discovery of Renaissance perspective] was a translation of
psychophysiological space into mathematical space; in other words, an
objectification of the subjective (p66)
plato rejected perspective for distorting true proportions, as was the case in the ancient near east, in the middle ages also for introducing a subjective world view. Expressionism and impressionism equally do without it (p71)
perspective mathematizes this visual space, and yet it is very much visual space that it
mathematizes; it is an ordering, but an ordering of the visual phenomenon (71).
perspective, in transforming the ousia (reality) into the phainomenon (appearance),
seems to reduce the divine to a mere subject matter for human consciousness; but
for that very reason conversely, it expands human consciousness into a vessl for the
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The Physical Level – the physical object that is the print, the qualities of that print, colour vs black and white, the style of the photographer. It seems to me that confuses his categories a bit, here. It would be tempting to talk just about the physical qualities of the object – the print – but I am interested in screen images, too. However, it might be useful to talk about the conscious decision to make the viewer aware of the medium, like thick brush strokes in a painting, instead of trying to hide it and give you the sense that the photograph is a neutral, objective, scientific window on the world.
The Depictive Level – here he lists the following decisions that are crucial to depiction: vantage point, frame, moment and plane of focus. This category nearly sums up Szarkowski’s book. It also encompasses everything you have to think about to produce conventional architectural photography.
The Mental Level – the photographer makes many choices about focus: lens, eye, attention, mind. It think he is trying to point out that photography can send you thinking or imagining. You don’t just stare at the content or at the forms contained in the frame. A photograph can be a point of departure. Or not.
Mental Modelling – this point is the most relevant one to my research question, so I will quote it in full.
The mental levels genesis is in the photographer’s mental organisation of the photograph
The mental levels genesis is in the photographer’s mental organisation of the photograph. When photographers take pictures, they hold mental models in their minds models that are the result of prodding’s of insight, conditioning, and comprehension of their world.
At one extreme, the model is rigid and ossified, bound by an accumulation of its conditioning: a photographer recognizes only subjects that fit the model, or structures pictures only in accordance with the model. A rudimentary example of this is a mental filter that permits only sunsets to pass through. At the other extreme, the model is supple and fluid, readily accommodating and adjusting to new perceptions.
For most photographers, the model operates unconsciously. But, by making the model conscious, the photographer brings it and the mental level of the photograph under his or her control.
Earlier I suggested that you become aware of the space between you and the page in this book. That caused an alteration of your mental model. You can add to this awareness by being mindful, right now, of yourself sitting in your chair, its back pressing against your spine. To this you can add an awareness of the sounds in your room. And all the while, as your awareness is shifting and your mental model is metamorphosing, you are reading this book, seeing these words – these words, which are only ink on paper, the ink depicting a series of funny little symbols whose meaning is conveyed on the mental level. And all the while, as your framework of understanding shifts, you continue to read and to contemplate the nature of photographs.
He ads the following in an interview with Aperture
If the signature style is something genuine, something inherent, as opposed to a stylization imposed on one’s
work, mental modeling is simply the natural inclination of that photographer. There has been this idea in
photography of previsioning (to use Weston’s term), which is having a mental image of the picture. The image an
experienced photographer has in mind, whether it be conscious or unconscious, can guide all the little decisions that
go into making a picture. It becomes the coordinating factor. With “mental modeling,” I’m talking about making
that conscious, becoming aware of it as an image, and not simply seeing out your eyes like out a window.
Stephen Shore interviewed by Luc Sante
Aperture #185, April 2007
9 projects, each divided into 3 sections: exterior daytime, interior, exterior blue light. Wherever possible, the exteriors have been of at least one corner and one facade; the exteriors have included where possible one general shot and a key feature, such as a staircase, atrium or significant detail.
9 different interpretations of place (left to right, top to bottom): nostalgic black and white, details, white, ants, light, portraits, black, cubist, grey.
Blue light images shot yesterday at 6 30 pm with blue desaturated from them.
is it neutra or shulman you see?