Report 1: Apparatus Fundamentals / Historical Examples

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glegrady
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Report 1: Apparatus Fundamentals / Historical Examples

Post by glegrady » Mon Oct 05, 2020 12:44 pm

MAT594GL Techniques, History & Aesthetics of the Computational Photographic Image
https://www.mat.ucsb.edu/~g.legrady/aca ... f594b.html

Please provide a response to any of the material covered in this week's two presentations by clicking on "Post Reply". Consider this to be a journal to be viewed by class members. The idea is to share thoughts, other information through links, anything that may be of interest to you and the topic at hand.

Report for this topic is due by October 20, 2020 but each of your submissions can be updated throughout the length of the course.
George Legrady
legrady@mat.ucsb.edu

chadress
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Re: Report 1: Apparatus Fundamentals / Historical Examples

Post by chadress » Thu Oct 15, 2020 2:43 pm

It seems the language describing the act of photographing has evolved along with the medium itself. We ‘received’ the image from the camera obscura. Documentarians, such as Henri Cartier-Bresson and Diane Arbus ‘took’ photographs and abstractionists including Man Ray and Moholy-Nagy ‘created’ or ‘made’ photographs. Digital photographs are often described as ‘captures’.

Our understanding of the truth-value of photographs has evolved alongside this language. The truth can be received, created, and captured. From the beginning, we believed the photograph to be true, it’s factual basis was - and is - questioned often but did not stop us from institutionalizing it’s use as a tool for evidence, knowledge and apparatus of power. Many now speak of photographs as ‘constructions’, more specifically ‘constructed artifacts’. Artifacts contain facts, and while the photograph is now constructed (as opposed to received), we continue to conjoin the two. As artificial intelligence - often operating autonomously - is introduced into the photographic process, will we continue the self, or human-centered language used to describe the point of photographic creation? Will truth follow as it historically has? Will we continue to believe when we see?

Personally, my own career as a professional photographer has been a lived experience of the migration from analog to digital processes. I began using photoshop when it was first introduced, pre-layers on what was likely a Macintosh Centris 610 system. Command-Z, also known as the undo function, was my only friend here. The system was so incredibly slow, I could practice guitar while waiting for a file to save or load. In my early twenties I was a photographer’s assistant in New York City, when I was asked to work on the first digitally photographed cover for a magazine. This was perhaps 2000, and the magazine was Wired. The experience was, as expected, life changing.

Prior to digital’s overtake of the photography industry, the analog process on set was incredibly labor intensive. It was often my sole task, as a second assistant, to load, unload and label film. A typical celebrity shoot over the course of a few hours could result in 100+ rolls of 120, medium-format film. When we made that first digital magazine cover, I can remember distinctly thinking my job (or career) was over. Happily this was not the case, and today piles of hard drives, digital file management systems, and on-set retouching not only replaced the labor involved with film, it actually increased the overall workload.

This technological migration affected both the process of creating images as well as the ethical considerations of images. Prior to my NYC move, I received my BA in photojournalism. The truth-value of the image was sacrosanct in this environment; so much to the point where “F8 and be there”, was often a photojournalist’s mantra. The photographs role as an unmediated piece of evidence was rarely questioned at this time. This was not necessarily the case at photography’s inception, and it is not the case with the advent of digital imaging.

One of the first examples of photography being used as evidence can be traced back to the Leeds Hill housing debacle of the late 1800’s in Britain. John Tagg devotes an entire section to this historic occurrence in his book The Burden of Representation. Here, a local health board hired a photographer to document the state of public housing as proof of the slum-like conditions in an effort to have the buildings destroyed. “What the minutes show is that the photographs were produced in committee with deceptive straightforwardness as evidence, as a ‘true repesentation’, proof that the areas they depicted were insanitary. But what needs to be grasped is that in this context and in this usage, photographs constituted a relatively new kind of material whose use and acceptance had to be negotiated, learnt and officially established.”

The truth-value of the photograph as negotiable construct has not changed with the migration to digital. Zachariah B. Parry, in a paper from our readings titled Digital Manipulation and Photographic Evidence: Defrauding the Courts One Thousand Words at a Time, confirms this. “In essence, the courts today simply take the witness‘s word that a digital photograph has not been tampered with.” Parry rightly points out the problematic nature of such “officially established” practices: “However, due to the ease with which digital photographs are manipulated, and the expanding scope of the public‘s use and reliance upon them, the scrutiny with which digital photographs are considered before being admitted into evidence should be heightened.” What we see here is the historic oscillation (vassilation?) of the photograph as both instrument and subject of law - it’s value as a factual document is routinely accepted yet is often questioned.

Links:
http://illinoisjltp.com/journal/wp-cont ... Parry2.pdf
http://sites.uci.edu/asianamarthistory2 ... tation.pdf
Last edited by chadress on Tue Oct 27, 2020 8:47 am, edited 4 times in total.

k_parker
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Re: Report 1: Apparatus Fundamentals / Historical Examples

Post by k_parker » Mon Oct 19, 2020 5:03 pm

What I was thinking about when going over the slides and information in the first week was the possibility of integrating eye-tracking into a photographic process as a way to have human visual limitations dictate the focus and visual information as opposed to machine capability. I started virtually poking around the Psychology and Brain Science department at UCSB- looking specifically for professors involved in vision perceptions research, to see if anything was particularly interesting for my studio practice. From there, I was referred to Dr. Eckstein and found this video [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WBO1LA-NDH8] where he explains his and a colleague’s work. I am not at all familiar with eye-tracking, but I found it interesting that there is a way to record exactly what part of the face individual people focus on to determine recognition. I am sure I am greatly over-simplifying the research, but I am wondering if there is a way to compensate for the focus of the photographic image to reflect the focus of the viewer's eye- somehow distorting the image based on human perception and not machine capability. Creating an image that you are essentially forced to look at though someone else’s eyes.

I was thinking this could be applied to the Lytro camera that already has the capability to account for many focuses, and these focuses can be adjusted after a photograph has already been taken. I think this would be most interesting when applied to a video installation of some kind (perhaps along the lines of Spherecam). - where a second person can observe where and how another person visually understands a particular space over a period of time. The “focus” of the video installation would adjust to where the viewer with the eye-tracker wants to look. Maybe it would be best for the person with the eye-tracker to be given the entire image (possibly VR) so that their natural visual understanding isn’t manipulated by the shifting focus.

I wonder how much of visual information can be accounted for and adjusted to reflect pre-existing understandings of an individual’s peripheral vision, and attention, or if there is more room for artistic speculation. In the article Reflections on the Computational Photograph our Prof. Legrady touches on the "corneal imaging system” stating that, “information within a scene is gathered on the basis of visual data reflected in the subject’s eye. This information can then be computationally reformulated to accurately represent what the subject may be seeing while looking at the photographer” (pg. 214). Maybe there is a project here combining the “corneal imaging system” and something like "Dual Photography” - described by Prof. Legrady as creating “two variable representations of a scene” (pg. 217).
Last edited by k_parker on Tue Oct 27, 2020 7:12 am, edited 1 time in total.

yichenli
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Re: Report 1: Apparatus Fundamentals / Historical Examples

Post by yichenli » Mon Oct 19, 2020 10:47 pm

I looked at photogrammetry and things that are similar to the Lytro camera (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rEMP3XEgnws&t=631s). I still don't understand anything and will probably show my misunderstanding in this post.

https://techcrunch.com/2018/06/07/how-f ... otos-work/
The Facebook 3D photos (launched 2018) feature involves the user moving the phone around a scene. It seems like a version of photogrammetry, but with 2 photos captured at each location (hence, only available on dual-camera phones). The difference between that and photogrammetry softwares such as Agisoft Photoscan seems to be that it "hallucinates" [sic] the missing parts of the model (as the mesh is "torn" at boundaries of objects, indicated by edge detection1) via a Convolutional Neural Network. Behind an object that occludes another, the result often show a blurred area in the shape of the former:
Screen Shot 2020-10-19 at 10.41.29 PM.png
Screenshot from FB 3D photo demo video, note the triangular blur behind the blue roof.
random tangent 1 Does that indicate that the 3d photos tool treats what the object is as characterized by edges? Looking at the imperfect 3D photos on Facebook, I am reminded of the nature of the objects in the scene as surfaces.

https://www.matthewtancik.com/nerf
From the video demo of NeRF: Representing Scenes as Neural Radiance Fields for View Synthesis (2020), the input seems to require a series of photos that are likewise taken around an object, as well as the corresponding camera locations. It seems to work the same way as Lytro (see NeRF video demo). Compared to FB 3D photos, the results are more realistic-appearing 2, it also is able to render view-dependent appearance such as highlights and reflections on glossy objects 3.
(Sidetrack relating to Chad's post: the (human-made?) 3D models against which the NeRF results are compared are called "ground truth" in the paper)
2 NeRF's ability to emulate seamless analogue experience is contrary to one artistic use of photogrammetry in certain projects (i can't find specific examples but some of the projects are about personal memories, which could be said to be fragmented just like the model) which takes advantage of "glitches" such as holes in the 3d mesh (from where one could see "through" the object to the other side of the object from the hollow "inside", which also reminds the viewer of the objects as surfaces).
3 I kept staring at a black screen in the room example of the demo video since there's something in its reflection that looks like a person. So with this tool, one could look into a mirror, as another person?

https://beateguetschow.de/
Lastly, artist Beate Gütschow's HC (hortus conclusus) (2020) are "photos" of parks in axonometric perspective achieved through constructing a 3d model of the scene via photogrammetry. It defamiliarizes the park.
Screenshot_2020-10-19 Beate Gütschow.png

For lack of a better word, Defamiliarization seems to be a strand shared among Gütschow's work, the "glitchy" type of photogrammetry results, and descriptions of machine-generated images (or details) as "hallucination". Viktor Shklosky, who coined the term, wrote in Art as Technique (1917):
...The process of "algebrization," the over-automatization of an object, permits the greatest economy of perceptive effort. Either objects are assigned only one proper feature -a number, for example -or else they function as though by formula and do not even appear in cognition...
...The technique of art is to make objects "unfamiliar," to make forms difficult, to increase the difficulty and length of perception because the process of perception is an aesthetic end in itself and must be prolonged...
...Art removes objects from the automatism of perception...
The process of "algebrization, the over-automatization of an object", which needs to be counteracted by the defamilarizing effect of art, sounds very much like automated image recognition via machine learning. Yet the (at least initially) defamiliarizing appearance of GAN "hallucinated" images is based on this categorization process in which "either objects are assigned only one proper feature -a number, for example -or else they function as though by formula and do not even appear in cognition..."

Another term that I found to be more relevant than defamiliarization (which is somewhat problematic in its basing on surprise, see A Critique of Surprise in Generative Art, 2019 https://www.leoalmanac.org/a-critique-o ... el-c-howe/) is the more recent epistemological aestheticization (Welsch 1996), which Simanowski describes as:
...alienation and deconstruction leaved the fenced system of art to become the primary mode of perception and cognition...
(Robert Simanowski, The Alien Aesthetic of Speculative Realism, or, How Interpretation Lost the Battle to Materiality and How Comfortable this Is to Humans, 2014, https://monoskop.org/images/3/30/Specul ... y_2014.pdf)
Last edited by yichenli on Tue Oct 20, 2020 1:33 pm, edited 3 times in total.

masood
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Re: Report 1: Apparatus Fundamentals / Historical Examples

Post by masood » Tue Oct 20, 2020 8:39 am

Throughout my career I’ve felt a great deal of ambivalence from those who have witnessed my dual position within computing and photography. For many it is difficult to see that those two are intrinsically interconnected. People’s natural need to differentiate (discriminate?), identify, and taxonomize, often prevents people from seeing the links between the analog and digital image. Indeed, I’ve never personally felt that the transition from analog to digital was all that significant aside from the material and economic transition. The core of photography is the capture of data. That was true in 1826 when Niépce captured the first chemical image. It is still true today with digital images.

The pace of our class content through history has been fast, but in moving quickly we’ve experienced first-hand the collapse of traditional distinctions (like analog/digital or classical/computational). For this I am grateful. Some universal truths about photography have emerged in this holistic approach.

The first truth is truth itself. More specifically, it is the veracity of the photographic image as a predominant theme from the beginning of photography (I think of Rejlander as an iconic example) to today (I think deep fakes and, specifically, the Talking Heads video and paper).

The second truth is the question of agency. Who is the artist when image making is mechanized? In the beginning of photography (for the Salon of 1859) Baudelaire, a vociferous critic of photography and modernity said this:

Each day art further diminishes its self-respect by bowing down be¬fore external reality [i.e. photography’s influence] ; each day the painter becomes more and more given to painting not what he dreams but what he sees.
(https://www.csus.edu/indiv/o/obriene/ar ... graphy.htm)

He hated photography and, what he saw as, the demise of the artist’s subjective role in art creation, or dreams.

The last truth I’ll mention is the collapse between art and science within photography, which was summarized in George Legrady’s essay for Drone: Reflections on the Computational Photography (https://www.mat.ucsb.edu/~g.legrady/aca ... ion_gl.pdf). Throughout the readings I’ve paid particular attention to the scientific papers, as my current interest is participating in the field of computational photography as both a researcher and an artist. The papers I read were Few-Shot Adversarial Learning of Realistic Neural Talking Head Models (https://arxiv.org/abs/1905.08233v1 (as well as the authors’ attached statement beneath the YouTube demonstration video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p1b5aiTrGzY)), Single-View View Synthesis with Multiplane Images (https://single-view-mpi.github.io/), DeepView: View synthesis with learned gradient descent (https://augmentedperception.github.io/deepview/), and Femto Photography: Capturing and Visualizing the Propagation of Light (https://dspace.mit.edu/bitstream/handle ... sAllowed=y).

In reading these papers, my focus was on methodology, ideology, and terminology. To be concise I’m going to say a bit about each of these 3 areas and collapse all of the papers.

Methodology

Methodology involved reading how the papers are structured and understanding what a computer vision/machine learning paper generally includes and what kind of testing is required for it to be considered complete.

Among the general observations I made about methodology within machine learning is the way in which distinctly programmed systems are generally grouped together into networks.

Ideology

The statement made by the authors of the “talking head” paper to address the possibility of their technology being used in fakes wrote a statement on their GitHub which I found particularly interesting in its ideological clarity (for better or worse). They make the statement that they believe that their work amounts to “the democratization of the [sic] certain special effects technologies” and that “the net effect of democratization on the world has been positive.”

This statement, though made by computer scientists, seems in line with responses to the public’s ambivalence toward both machine generated (today) and captured (at the beginning of photography) imagery.

For me, their statement falls flat in its amorality and a-historicity. What the authors fail to take account of is the massive transformation of image transfer infrastructure and the amplified role that images play in social interactions today. What they should address is the ethical implications of creating a technology that absolutely will be used for harm. They write about the need for realistic avatars in VR spaces to make people feel more connected. This is, to my mind, currently an edge case. This technology’s more likely use is for propaganda, and this is something that needs to be addressed more directly.

These ideas will be something I will have to address directly in the future, so engaging with these ethical issues is an important value for me.

Just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should. Computer science’s need to replicate every process needs to be reconsidered… or just considered at all.

Terminology

There seems to be a general push in computer science and to approach all phenomena ontologically. In other words, to study how something comes into being so as to reproduce it digitally. This is evidenced in the many approaches to computer vision which began by replicating human/biological vision and pattern recognition processes using computational processes. There is a reason François Chollet, the creator of Keras/TensorFlow and a Google software engineer, is a big fan of neuroscience and childhood development (see these interviews: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bo8MY4JpiXE and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PUAdj3w3wO4).

Indeed, my favorite borrowed terminology from the papers was the term ablation study, coined by Chollet. Within neuroscience, an ablation study is where a portion of the physical brain is removed or cut off in order to assess its function and necessity. This is also done in machine learning where a portion of the neural network is removed to test its effect on performance. It gives researchers a glimpse into the black box.

One of my other term-related discoveries throughout the readings was how a convolutional neural network actually works.

Convolution is essentially the process of applying a kernel to an image, pixel-by-pixel that collapses the image into a core symbol for easy and efficient identification. There is a beautiful visualization I found on YouTube that illustrates this process very well. The video involves the identification of the letter ‘A’ by a convolutional neural network.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f0t-OCG ... L&index=2
Another useful resource is 3Blue1Brown’s excellent series on Neural Networks:

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=P ... _ZCJB-3pi
Last edited by masood on Tue Oct 27, 2020 12:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

isalty
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Re: Report 1: Apparatus Fundamentals / Historical Examples

Post by isalty » Tue Oct 20, 2020 9:57 am

As a scholar in art history, when I think about the development of different photographic apparatuses and the history of photography I feel inclined to think of the historical experience of these as “new” technologies and “new” media—even though we today are constantly immersed in photographic images in their various forms—and conversely, how we experience these technologies as “old” today (this brings to mind how contemporary artists are recreating camera obscuras for an investigative photographic practice).

I am interested in how the beginning of photography evoked controversy, and more specifically, fear, in the established art worlds of the 19th and early 20th centuries—and this more specifically comes from my own research focus in German art and design of the Interwar period. With influential photographic practices coming from Bauhaus figures like Moholy-Nagy and coming from modern movements like “Neue Sachlichkeit” (New Objectivity) and “Neues Sehen” (New Vision), it is important to investigate why it took so long for photography to be an accepted mode of artistic production in the art world and even art history. And this reveals more about the socio-cultural politics arising from new technologies, that we can certainly see today with the growth of artificial intelligence as well.

It was not until 1929—over a century after the first known photographic image View from the Window at Le Gras by Niépce was produced—that photography was officially integrated into the Bauhaus curriculum, an institution recognized for its innovation and experimentation. This makes me wonder: how long did it take for other institutions to do the same, and why was practicing, let alone teaching, photography controversial? I looked back to Moholy-Nagy’s 1922 text “Production-Reproduction” alongside Walter Benjamin’s “The Work of Art in the Age of its Technological Reproducibility” from 1935. Moholy-Nagy, an advocate of photography and experimentation, wrote this prior to his appointment as Master of the Metal Workshop at the Bauhaus in Dessau. In this short text, he kind of creates a call to action in support of the use of new technologies in experimental and experiential ways, arguing that these will help humans “bring about the most far-reaching new contacts between the familiar and the as yet unknown optical, acoustical and other functional phenomena.”

Benjamin on the other hand, famously criticized the technological production of art as a practice absent of “traditional” aesthetic values of the art object, stating that “what withers in the age of the technological reproducibility of the work of art is the latter’s aura” (22). Benjamin’s primary concern, the “aura” of the art object, also concerns notions of authenticity and what it means to produce/reproduce while maintaining the integrity (whatever that may be) of the sight/performance/object at hand. Ultimately I think Benjamin’s concern is not to devalue photography, but rather warn of its uses and potential manipulations. This is already when photography was relatively widely used towards the middle of the twentieth century but also at a time when the Third Reich had come into power and Fascism was enveloping many nations.

There are many nuances to the definitions of both production, reproduction, reproducibility, and authenticity among both Moholy-Nagy’s and Benjamin’s cultural commentary on the role of technological apparatuses in the creation of art that certainly require more examination. These debates at the turn of the century and towards the middle of the twentieth century illuminate specific social, cultural, and political relations with the new technology of photography and its institutional implementations, which we continue to see as we study the development of photographic practices and the digital image throughout the 20th and 21st centuries.

Links:
http://100photos.time.com/photos/joseph ... ow-le-gras
https://monoskop.org/images/8/82/Moholy ... uction.pdf
https://monoskop.org/images/6/6d/Benjam ... ersion.pdf

wqiu
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Re: Report 1: Apparatus Fundamentals / Historical Examples

Post by wqiu » Tue Oct 20, 2020 11:47 am

Photography has been my biggest hobby for almost ten years. I have been taking photos of various genres. It has been a functional skill so that I can take photos for my family or friends in important moments, document during traveling to new places or participating in big events, etc. The photos were printed to hang on the wall or posted to social media. On the other hand, I also attempted to use photography as a form of art creation.

The overview of photography history reminds me of my past attempts to take photos that I considered as creative. In the beginning, I was obsessed with the bokeh caused by the shallow depth of field. Quickly those photos with shallow DoF were considered as "cheesy" and cliche. Meanwhile, I tried to play with composition, by orienting cameras at irregular angles, which was considered too intentional. Then I was attracted to street photography, which is about the decisive moment, and the potential narrative out of it.

Strangely, street photography has been considered the "ultimate" form of art among the amateur photography culture. People tend to brag about the balance of composition and the intricate relationships between the subjects in the photo, which sometimes I consider as "over-reading". Of course, the great street photographers in history have done amazing jobs of capturing decisive moments, but due to the nature of those photos that looks very randomly taken, sometimes abstract, amateur photographers tend to think their random snapshots are the same as the masterpieces capturing the decisive moment, by adding too much post-shot reading on the image.

The overview of photography history made me see the genre of street photography simply a natural development after cameras were made portable by Leica, which freed people from the requirements of sitting the camera on a tripod. Before the camera became portable, people only care to capture the magnificent landscape, which can then be hung in the gallery for sale. When photography became effortless by being portable, people can afford to take photos for daily lives. It develops into a trend to make the daily lives photo significant by choosing the moment to capture and adjusting the composition so that the image contains rich semiotic information or sophisticated subject relationships, thereby viewer deriving narrative from it.

After street photography, making abstract images was explored by artists with photography. Until today, most photography-based artworks belong to this genre. It has not been fully embraced by the amateur photography culture yet, but I think it should. Personally, I would like to share some artworks I think thought-provoking.


FedEx seires by Walead Beshty: glass box are transported by FedEx, the damage to the glass box documents what happened during the transport.
unnamed.jpg
By Walead Beshty: Photographs created without cameras. Placing color gels on the film paper directly.
0000059915.jpg

By Sam Falls: photograms with nature materials such as fruits and tree leafs, exposed by sun light.
Screen Shot 2020-10-20 at 12.46.29 PM.png

merttoka
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Re: Report 1: Apparatus Fundamentals / Historical Examples

Post by merttoka » Wed Oct 21, 2020 1:00 am

This week's discussion on historical camera apparatus reminded me of my long term fascination with optic devices. As a kid, I remember being drawn to the idea of refraction by observing how sunlight reacts under the magnifying glass. My parents were never happy about this exploration as it implied occasional burn marks on some of our furniture. As a person who is born into an era where photographs were second nature, I was amazed by the simplicity of pinhole cameras when I learned more about it in my college years. In the examples of our lecture, one example stood out to me more than the others: Abelardo Morell's Camera Obscura brilliantly uses this technique by bringing outdoors to indoors and documenting the upside-down images produced by the natural view of the room.
Image Image Image

The other topic that caught my interest was the topic of projection. The various projections reminded me of the aesthetic contrast between the obliques of Ottoman Art and perspective drawings of the European Renaissance. Most of the Ottoman artworks focused on using geometrical patterns instead of using realistic portraits of a scene, yet the ones that do depict a scene was usually from a high angle and contained unrealistic projections to reflect the vantage point of the 'Allah' (Islamic god).

The exploration of the vantage point is particularly interesting by itself. From the lecture, Hans Holbein's The Ambassadors cleverly uses two different point-of-views into one frame. The puzzling catoptric image of Istvan Orosz displays landscape when viewed without external reflection and reveals a portrait of Jules Verne when viewed with a reflective cylinder placed on the sun.

The anamorphic images mentioned above also reminded me of gravitational lensing -- a natural phenomenon that occurs with the distortion of spacetime curvature around massive objects and light rays emitted behind the object is bent when viewed at the right vantage point. Einstein's general theory of relativity showed that when a radiant galaxy and earth is perfectly aligned with an object like a supermassive black hole in the middle, the light emitted from the galaxy is bent around the black hole. With the improvements in space imaging, the Hubble space telescope was able to capture many such phenomena. One such image of an Einstein Ring is below:
Image

zhangweidilydia
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Joined: Fri Jan 19, 2018 11:09 am

construct a photograph

Post by zhangweidilydia » Wed Oct 21, 2020 10:00 pm

I really enjoyed the topic covered in the recent weeks. It inspired me to look back on the early photographic experiments and see how the materiality and mechanization have been utilized and evolved. Moholy Nagy's light space modulator is another example related to this topic. By designing the light prop - machine - to create special motion graphics in space with light and shadow.
3ea97472c28273852cf84e74297f1fdd.jpg
One paragraph I particularly resonated with is
The photograph as evidence
A visual record of a moment in time and space
An image is a constructed artifact rather then a document of the world
A representation that follows rules of how culture has evolved its understanding of images

I step into the art world using photography as a medium. Instead of capturing the reality, I am more interested in how to construct a reality.I made photo montage, photographic sculpture and also I tried combine photography with my drawings. A few artists has inspired me a lot: Jo Ann Callis, James Welling, Ellen Garvens, Robert Heinecken, Man Ray.. etc.

Robert Heinecken inspired me to incorporate cut-out images with texts to convey meanings. Many of his works assemblage images to create new entity. The new entity usually informs the unexpected but reasonable and powerful connectivity between different issues. His works make me rethink what an image means and how information are formed.

ehrenzeller
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Re: Report 1: Apparatus Fundamentals / Historical Examples

Post by ehrenzeller » Fri Oct 23, 2020 9:24 am

After examining the first few weeks of material retroactively, I’ve come to appreciate how the role of photography has shifted as we’ve transitioned from analog to digital, but in other ways the artform has become more honest.

When we think of the early days of traditional portrait photography, harsh images of aristocrats holding artificial poses for extended periods of time, often with stern looks of concentration, wearing their finest clothes comes to mind. This is especially true in the early era, where having a photo taken was akin to having your portrait painted and the materials (at least partially) were to blame for this intentional misrepresentation of the individual and the world they inhabited. Nowadays, with faster processors and the democratization of cameras, we are able to capture more realistic moments—movie stars without their make-up, national catastrophes unfolding in real time, etc.—but photomanipulation software has also distanced the art from reality. We can now remove acne, whiten teeth, capture sporting events faster than ever before and apply artificial makeup and digital accessories through Photoshop, its competitors, and a myriad of filters. Photography’s role as hard evidence has certainly become diluted. That said, the battle between the Surveillance State and Deepfakes is far from over.

Another interesting fact that caught my attention is how many of these early photographs exhibit the “Rule of Thirds” something typically discussed in most introduction to photography courses. Having associated this with photography for so long, this sparked my interest in its birth which led me to this article (https://www.bhphotovideo.com/explora/ph ... -thirds%3F) bringing the “Rule” into existence in 1797.

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