Gracie Crawford

James Elkins

What photography is (a return to Roland Barthes’ Camera Lucida)

The article ‘What photography is’ has a sense a mortality through the narrative of resemblance of photography seen in non-humane circumstances.

Furthermore, Elkins believes that ordinary portraits have something to do with the unfocused, subjects such as death. Throughout this article of ‘What Photography Is’ in the discussion on death has allowed the growth of literature in photography industry. The visual documentation and storytelling throughout this narrative allows the images to be bigger than oneself. For example, in the subchapter ‘too full of light’ it suggests that the light and darkness plays a role in creating an emotional reaction allowing us to draw subjectivity. 

What photography Is, helps me in particular, to understand an opinion on how memories and time allows the image to connects to a moment in time in the fleeting nature of life whether there is good or evil. And from there, the article shows us the vulnerability of sharing personal yet crucial stories of our past.

The image below captures the essences of the article in the sense that the archival images throughout what photography is and the delicacy of the moment of dark and light. Although I am unsure of who the photographer is, I do know that it is from the subchapter ‘too full of life’.

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