The challenges of global photography


Exploring the idea of the global image and the questions proposed I have found this topic rather challenging. Or more so the idea of a global image. In reflection of the questions asked, I feel that even though some of the types of images discussed do have an intrinsic foundation of global strategy, such as advertising which the images are taken for a strong direct meaning to be portrayed to the viewer, still have the ability to be lost in translation. Using photography, as a tool for manipulation is something we see everyday. That’s because there is still this idea of photography being a true reflection of a person or environment, people seem to be very unnerved about exploring the image, as a they see it more like a tool for recording rather than another creative platform, such as painting or the written word. One photographer who explored the idea of the photograph having a more romantic subjective quality to it was Ansel Adams he says “A great photograph is a full expression of what one feels about what is being photographed in the deepest sense, and is, thereby, a true expression of what one feels about life in its entirety.” – Ansel Adams. This quote really brings to light the idea of a photograph being an expression of the photographer rather than a captured descriptive moment in time. I feel global corporations have the same thinking when choosing the images in which best reflects their brand. They play on the idea of naiveté in the general public, which sees the photographed image as a fact rather than a subjective media. From this you could take that, the photographer working with the client, having a tainted reason for taking the image, by the brief they have been set. This can be seen in such images asThis image above (BBDO collection, unknown photographer), the image depicts two people chatting and laughing with each other. They could possibly be a couple. Looking at the image you could be mistaken to think this is a candid zeitgeist. But its not, in fact the image was a very clever part of a recent Starbucks promotion, showing an image which isn’t seen often two people with out there phones. Starbucks followed the idea of the candid image for there whole series and this was a large global campaign, so yes the image was global but its core understanding never was. I will finish this section with a quote for you to think on “There are always two people in every picture: the photographer and the viewer.” – Ansel Adams

One need that we as human beings need is explanation. The idea of living in an over romanticised world is something which doesn’t fit in with the modern global population. We are always looking for the next image to shock us. And that is what we are getting. From children starving in war torn countries or images showing devastation. We as viewers are drawn to this image. This is because of our thirst for knowledge. Still working on the idea of the global image, we have a fascination with imagery that shocks us. Not for the reason of self-satisfaction and just enjoying the images informative quality, but almost like a need for self-gratification. Bringing respect and reflection into your own life when comparing them with others. The idea of homogenises is very apart. We are becoming more and more removed from the pain shown in these images as they are used so often and usually as a tool for newsreaders to show solidity in their words. That it is taking more and more shocking imagery to effect is. This has a direct impact on what we see. As a child I don’t ever remember seeing any images that show such destruction, this isn’t because they wasn’t there and available be due to the homogenses of the subjects meaning changing there is now a need for them. There has been an almost objectification of the human race due for our need of global communication. This is changing our way at looking at people around the globe. Images of one Muslim extremist can have such a detrimental effect on the whole community. This is once again due to the naiveté of the public eye seeing a photograph as fact. We almost forget that, that one person is just that. One person is a world full of billions of people. But due to the elucidatory nature we see photography. It’s easy to objectify a whole race or culture through one persons actions. or shall we say two people, lets not forget the photographer is always there. Showing you the information he or she feels relevant.


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