In my previous post I showed my recently purchased used 1961 Leica M3 35mm camera and my soon to be sold Nikon Perspective control lenses. It is important for me to return to film photography for a number of reasons, but ease of use may not seem to be one compared to today’s digital cameras.
Edward Steichen once said, “No photographer is as good as the simplest camera.” I interpret that to mean that image content is and should be independent of the camera. The photograph is a representation of the interaction of subject and object. The negative is the verb representing whether it is transitive (experienced) or intransitive (observed) event.
The question is, “Which is the subject and which is the object?” Grammar would say, I (subject) photographed (verb) the scene (object); i.e., the object is the entity acted upon. It seems to me that the very need to take a photograph represents the other acting on the photographer. We can experience our world completely our entire life and never take a photograph. I know people who take photographs with their digital phones and rarely, if ever, look at them again. These are important photographs because they demonstrate that something in the environment has caught the attention of the one taking the photo. In other words, the photographer is the entity being acted upon through their experience of the world around them.
I would also argue that Photography as Art is more along the lines of the grammatical photographer as subject. The intent of their photography is the photograph as object to be consumed as point of view—a purposeful object to represent an idea or experience to be shaped to that idea.
Digital differs from film in that there is no intermediate physical negative component.
(To be continued)