the myth that photography is a tool to capture reality. Without
getting too deeply into the philosophy of what “reality” should
mean, we think that photography is generally incapable of capturing
reality even assuming a naive understanding of the word.
of the main reasons is that photography isolates the picture
from the full context. Framing is one major aspect of cutting
a small portion from the whole context that exists at a certain
point in time. To really understand “reality,” then,
we would not only need to see the full context at that moment in
time but also the history before and after the picture was taken.
is the key operation while taking pictures. Framing allows you
to determine the story you want to tell. This is what we call
capturing a photograph to express your vision.
Here are some
examples of how framing can change the story/vision you want
to tell. When we left the lower end exit of the Lower
Antelope Canyon (in Page, AZ) we saw once again the huge smokestacks
of the commercial electric power plant in Navajo country. These
smoke stacks always disturbed our view on the otherwise beautiful
landscape but this time the smokestacks were hidden by some
nice red rocks.
This composition does not really
show how large the slots are but by the amount
of smoke you may get the picture.
By extending the frame and losing
some sky, we also lose a bit the sense of size of the smokestacks
and the picture is starting to make some fun
about the power
The third and final composition
fully hides the smokestacks.
It is now hard to know where are
the smoke is coming from. It looks most likely as being man-made
but the smoke could
also result from some piles
of wood on
a fire. (as in Indian smoke signals?)
All three shots are taken from
about the same vantage point but still reflect quite a bit
different part of reality and, accordingly, a
vision. As you can see, framing is your main tool to tell the story.
what was our vision in that moment? Actually we wanted to make
some fun of these monstrous and disturbing smokestacks and I
hope we succeeded
This article was written for the
summer issue of www.f8andbeingthere.com.
Annotation by Steven Snyder
"I would like to make a minor correction.
The "Smoke stacks" of the Palo Verde nuclear plant
are not emitting "smoke". That is pure clean steam
from de-ionized cooling water. Notice how it dissipates into
the air leaving no trace. Depending on the weather it may cause
a cloud of pure water vapor. Too bad it ruins the view of the
landscape though. Kindest Regards,"
Reply by Uwe Steinmueller
"We had no idea that this is a
nuclear plant (reality). Now we feel much safer :-)!"
More news by Peter in our news
"The smoke stacks shown in the
sample photographs are notthe cooling towers of the Palo Verde
Nuclear Plant. That plant is near Phoenix, not near Page and
Antelope Canyon. What you're seeing are the smoke stacks of the
coal-fired Navajo Generating Station near Page. Since the plant
is coal-fired, the "smoke" probably is really smoke,
not condensing steam as in nuclear power plant."