thinking with pictures

original subject versus photo (duplication) of that subject

Leave a comment

Whether it is the original painting (2 dimensional) or sculpture (3 dimensional subject) or instead of visual art, it could be a performing art compared to its video or audio recording: the question arises about emotional response or message that is communicated to audiences.



In the case of a portrait, either by camera or by brush, the same question arises: how does the experience in-person differ to the framed reproduction of the original? The photographer determines the standpoint, angle of view in the lens, the frame, time of day and season, lighting and exposure, not to mention enhancements or other effects added in post-processing. The original subject has unlimited meanings and viewpoints, but the photographer shapes the one given to the viewer. And so there can be great beauty in the subject on its own, but through the art of the photographer this beauty can either be communicated well or be obscured; or perhaps unexpected meanings may be imported by choice of foreground or background, selective focus, choice of caption or title, and so on.

So the question remains: how much of the beauty resides in the subject matter and how much comes from the art of the communicator: the sunset versus the oil painter, the racing horse in top form versus the photographer. In the best case the subject and its interpretation are inseparable and give equal joy to the person coming across the subject or its image. And while the original has the virtue of permanence and materiality, the facsimile can be instantly communicated in digital form to those unable to engage personally and face to face with a subject.


Author: gpwitteveen

Better Outreach is my aim. See to know more.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.