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Sunday, August 11, 2019

The Observer Effect

  Snapshots are photographs of everyday ordinary experiences. They are laced with elements of strangeness, obliqueness, and some juxtaposition. A good snapshot while still being ordinary and sometimes boring can also bare an informal perfection. This basic definition has helped guide me back to old terrain, back to when the photographic process was simple and it's only purpose was necessity. The difficult process of unlearning the past, the history, and that strategic eye that first led me down photography's road is a difficult one but it must be achieved then forgotten. There is no system for understanding the snapshot and no logic or purpose beyond freezing time in a personal manner. Those with formal training or from the world of art will of course have a problem understanding a system with no rules, direction or cohesion. Mostly these are the kind of photos that need to be taken. Not for art, not for social media ego, not for self-promotion or commerce. Today hoards of these photos are thrown away, forgotten in attics by the younger generations, and sold under the term "vernacular photography" which are purchased by curious voyeurs peeking into people's private lives. These collectors often considered "low-brow" are the REAL collectors of photography. They find far more curiosity in the snapshot than in the fine art prints hanging on gallery and museum walls. I've come to understand the snapshot as the true time capsule of photography and the champion of stillness. We live in a world where everything needs to come to a conclusion. The snapshot usually leaves the viewer with more questions than answers and in a state of confusion. Why? Because there is no formal method for understanding them. There is a freedom to this, a freedom to just observe. 





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