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Thread: On the influence of LF upon the moral faculty

  1. #11
    Hack Pawlowski6132's Avatar
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    Re: On the influence of LF upon the moral faculty

    Absolutely none.

  2. #12
    Land-Scapegrace Heroique's Avatar
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    Re: On the influence of LF upon the moral faculty

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter J. De Smidt View Post
    Do you mean "morality" in the sense of having a moral code, a listing of right and wrong actions?
    Yes, though the "morality" I described above was different – portraying, truthfully, a unique, but recognizable human experience, never mind any moral code. Poetic morality, not polemic.

    More in line with what you (and some others) are saying, I've also showed prints of neighborhood trees that had been taken down due to lack of care, to dramatize their disappearance and motivate greater awareness and action about the health of remaining trees.

    In that case, I’m prompting what I think is right (over wrong) behavior, and exercising a moral faculty there too.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Maple 1.jpg   Maple 2.jpg  

  3. #13

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    Re: On the influence of LF upon the moral faculty

    I would never have associated LF with "morality" on my own, but since you raise the subject, I have a different take, because I will define "photographic morality" differently.

    There is a genre of photography consisting of photographs of people, or the lives of people, who are less well-off than we are. They can be the "down & out" victims of substance abuse, or the poor. I personally feel that using these people as subjects for our photographs borders on the immoral, unless (and it is a big unless) we make an effort to form a relationship with them first, to engage them, rather than just "snapping them" (typically with a 35mm or digital camera).

    Within this narrow definition of morality, LF definitely comes into play, because it forces us to engage (unless we are using hand-held point & shoot press cameras). I can illustrate my point with three well-known examples. Paul Strand's pictures of unwitting street subjects, taken with a hand-held LF camera specifically fitted with a mirror so that he appeared to be photographing in a different direction, border on what I would define as immoral (possibly mitigated by the fact that the genre wasn't as over-shot as it is today). Bruce Davidson's "12th Street," shot on a poor inner-city block was moral, because in order to use his 8x10, Bruce had to become well known in the neighborhood. Richard Avedon's "American West" again pictured disadvantaged people, but he also had to gain their agreement to pose in front of his white backdrop, so I consider that moral. In these instances the format clearly played a part, since it forced engagement (except for the Strand example).

    Probably not the approach to the question that Heroique had in mind, but the closest association between LF and morality that I can think of.

  4. #14

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    Re: On the influence of LF upon the moral faculty

    Quote Originally Posted by Heroique View Post
    I've also showed prints of neighborhood trees that had been taken down due to lack of care, to dramatize their disappearance and motivate greater awareness and action about the health of remaining trees.

    In that case, I’m prompting what I think is right (over wrong) behavior, and exercising a moral faculty there too.
    I don't view your tree images as moral or immoral. All I can assume is that they are the result of your bias in regards to the issue. Your pictures don't tell give me a sense of anything immoral unless I believe your version of events.

  5. #15

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    Re: On the influence of LF upon the moral faculty

    Quote Originally Posted by mdm View Post
    The truth is how it should be.
    Funny, that's how Vilém Flusser defined beauty.

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Lewin View Post
    Within this narrow definition of morality, LF definitely comes into play, because it forces us to engage (unless we are using hand-held point & shoot press cameras).
    I agree. LF makes it more difficult to "steal" pictures. If I set up my camera on a tripod, people have the opportunity to protest or leave the frame.

    I would be interested in a related question: How does morality influence our (LF) photography? Some posts in this thread have already adressed this question.

    Michael

  6. #16
    I live in Connecticut now.
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    Re: On the influence of LF upon the moral faculty

    To the person who mentioned Bettie Page, I would say she only arrived at that idea because of others opinion of their moral ideals, and under pressure from others decided it was suddenly immoral.

    As for the rest, I would say LF is LESS moral than 35mm

    I arrive at this idea because LF takes time (except speed graphic type RF cameras) and so any "truth" to me IS morality, and by way of ease of "snapping" you can capture more truth in life, were LF is often more staged.

    So LF is less moral than 120, and 35mm is even more moral, that also means that, an untainted (unedited) digital image is the most moral because you can capture more truth in 10 seconds than a LF could in 10 minutes

    This is also abstract as a question, but that's my take on it all...

  7. #17

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    Re: On the influence of LF upon the moral faculty

    Quote Originally Posted by StoneNYC View Post
    To the person who mentioned Bettie Page, I would say she only arrived at that idea because of others opinion of their moral ideals, and under pressure from others decided it was suddenly immoral.
    Bettie Page became a born again Christian in 1959. I would think this had a lot to do with her decision to quit modeling.

  8. #18
    Abuser of God's Sunlight
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    Re: On the influence of LF upon the moral faculty

    I hope through LF to follow in the footsteps of Socrates, by corrupting youth and flaunting impiety.

  9. #19
    Land-Scapegrace Heroique's Avatar
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    Re: On the influence of LF upon the moral faculty

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Lewin View Post
    Probably not the approach to the question that Heroique had in mind, but the closest association between LF and morality that I can think of.
    Your three examples offer important insights, I think. I didn't mean to pursue any one take on photography + morality, but to hear what thoughts are out there about the connection (or non-connection). I thought there'd be few seeing any connection at all, and lots of corresponding "art for art's sake" comments. So far, I can't tell if my prediction is correct, but I've enjoyed all the comments so far!

    Quote Originally Posted by Ray Heath View Post
    I don't view your tree images as moral or immoral. All I can assume is that they are the result of your bias in regards to the issue. Your pictures don't tell give me a sense of anything immoral unless I believe your version of events.
    You're right, that's just a couple of images from a series which had an accompanying statement about "what happened" in each case. And the statement, especially the facts I chose to include, exclude, and emphasize, certainly expressed my bias!

  10. #20

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    Re: On the influence of LF upon the moral faculty

    The faculty in the photo dept. where I used to work were not known for their morals. In fact quite the opposite, the less restrained you were by morals the more successful your career.

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