Reading Photographs Group, Meetup Scheduled

THIS HAS BEEN CHANGED TO A MEET UP. WE WILL MEET AT THE SOUTH BUILDING, DOSS PARK AT 7PM ON FEBRUARY 12TH!

This is not a meet up. It is posted with a date because that is required. I am simply inquiring if there is enough interest in a group designed to discuss reading photographs.

Since August 2011, I have been writing a monthly book review for FOCUS, the club newsletter. Those reviews have more or less centered on the idea of reading photographs. I have included excerpts from the books along with frequent personal opinions. Most of the 2012 reviews are on David duChemin’s Photographically Speaking. But the last two months were on George Barr’s Taking Your Photography to the Next Level. The November review is specifically On Reading a Photograph, which I would propose as a beginning outline for the discussions.

I am curious if there is, within the club, enough interest to form a discussion group for learning to read photographs or at least to discuss photographs from that perspective. If there is I would consider starting a limited membership meet up expressly for that purpose. This would not be to teach the how-to of photography but to understand what a photograph can be and how to talk about photographs beyond technique, something more than “I like it” or “I hate it.” The book reviews from this last year will be used as a guide.

“Throughout most of the history of photography there seems to have been two main camps; one that exploits the medium’s verisimilitude (the largest camp), and another that believes a photograph can transcend the information it contains. One is no better than the other—both need the technical ability to produce the picture wanted, and both introduce other difficulties—they are just motivated by different attitudes and approaches. The more you find out about photography, the more you realize that the photographer has to grapple with philosophical, ethical and moral questions, as well as with technical problems.” –Paul Hill, Approaching Photography

Basically this will be a group for the second camp, those that believes a photograph can transcend the information it contains. It will require seeing a photograph as a photograph and not as the subject matter of the photograph. Out of full disclosure I have to mention that when reading photographs you are actually talking about yourself. That is not easy for many people; which is why photographs are almost always talked about as technique. Technique will be discussed as a method of communication, not as a goal to be attained. This will not be a group that everyone will be comfortable with. It is also likely to go into places that are seldom discussed in relation to photographs.

Anyway, check out the November Focus (click above on MORE and select FILES) book review On Reading a Photograph to determine if this is something that you would be interested in doing. If there is enough interest, I have some ideas on how to structure the group but for now the discussion is whether or not so start a discussion. Let me know what you think.

Join or login to comment.

  • Gary W.

    I have a blog that has been lying idle for a couple of years because I couldn’t really find a purpose for it. I will use it to hopefully enhance our discussions. The blog is Photovisualize. http://photovisualize.blogspot.com/

    I would be very pleased if everyone would send me the links to their photographs on the web or if you have a blog let’s post them where we can keep up with each other. The link to my personal blog as well as the two forums where I post photographs are already posted along with the first article Critic Is a Four Letter Word.

    I will be setting up a group where we can post for comments on Flickr shortly. I will post the information when it is up.

    2 · February 14, 2013

  • Gary W.

    Thanks to everyone for the kind words. I know that at times I am a little difficult to take when it comes to photography. I love being a part of a camera club but it bothers me to see photography being so limited. I simply want to give those that are interested a look into a side of photography that can be very satisfying, very fulfilling. There is a lot of room in photography for differing viewpoints and I realize that mine is also narrow. However, I believe it speaks more to the need we have as photographers to draw on what is important to each of us as individuals. As I said, I love learning about myself through my photographs. Not everything I learn is good but enough of it is that I can feel better about myself and my photographic efforts. I have done a tremendous amount of thinking about photography in the past half century plus. I would like to share what I believe that I have learned along with what I consider photographic wisdoms I have gleaned from others to those interested.

    February 13, 2013

  • Sandy T.

    Gary, thanks for getting this group together. I am looking forward to learning and discovering more about myself and others through the images we make.

    February 13, 2013

  • Dolores P.

    Thank you so much Gary for bringing me to another place in photography. Was so informative and I look forward to growing in this direction! Thanks again!

    February 13, 2013

  • JerryLee

    This meeting was a good start. I look forward to more thoughts and pratice.

    February 13, 2013

  • michael Y.

    Good job for starters. Good discussion. Flicker is a good option and I would vote for it to be private. Group only.

    February 13, 2013

  • Alcy N.

    just the kind of discussion about images

    February 13, 2013

  • Gary W.

    There seemed to be a concensous of opinion that setting up a Internet site for previewing the photogs prior to meetings would be advantegous. I have checked Flickr which probably is the best option. A group can be set up either of two ways: Private where only the members of the group can see the posts or Public by Invitation Only where everyone could see the posts but would have to be approved before they can post or comment. Is there any preference.

    February 12, 2013

  • Gary W.

    David and Lindarose, thank you. This is not a new concept, it just not a concept that you don't often encounter in amature photography. I find it very worthwhile, just not sure that everyone does.

    February 12, 2013

  • Lindarose

    I really enjoyed the idea of this. Many comments and questions were brought to the table and I found myself agreeing, disagreeing, thinking in a new way, etc. To me, that is growing. And, that is why I enjoyed it and hope that we continue!

    February 12, 2013

  • David B.

    Great start. Looking forward to more...

    February 12, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Sounds interesting

    February 12, 2013

  • Gary S.

    Schedule conflict- In new orleans tonite

    February 11, 2013

  • Gary S.

    Wish I could make it but in New Olreans for FAT TUESDAY!!! See u at the next one.

    February 11, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Sounds interesting

    February 11, 2013

  • Curtis S.

    Just joined the group, but I am very interested. In the past few months, I have began to journal using photographs that I take on photo walks (what triggered me to take this photo, what was I feeling when I took it, how does it speak to me, etc.). I think this is along the same lines with what you described above.

    January 28, 2013

  • michael Y.

    Gary I am not teaching Tuesday Nights this spring so I will be there. Like a bad horror movie I am back

    January 14, 2013

  • Alcy N.

    eager to learn

    January 7, 2013

  • Denise B.

    Sounds intriguing... i am in!

    January 3, 2013

  • David B.

    I'm interested!

    December 31, 2012

  • Gary S.

    Just wanted to give a thumbs up on this - I have only read this page so far but very interested in the whole concept.

    December 31, 2012

13 went

People in this
Meetup are also in:

Create a Meetup Group and meet new people

Get started Learn more
Allison

Meetup has allowed me to meet people I wouldn't have met naturally - they're totally different than me.

Allison, started Women's Adventure Travel

Sign up

Meetup members, Log in

By clicking "Sign up" or "Sign up using Facebook", you confirm that you accept our Terms of Service & Privacy Policy