Photo Essay

In Search of Snapshot Aesthetics

In Search of Snapshot Aesthetics

The term arose from the fascination of artists with the 'classic' black & white vernacular snapshot, the characteristics of which were: 1) they were made with a hand-held camera on which the viewfinder could not easily 'see' the edges of the frame, unlike modern cheap digital cameras with electronic viewfinder, and so the subject had to be centered; and 2) they were made by ordinary people recording the ceremonies of their lives and the places that they lived and visited.

An early theorist of snapshot aesthetic was the Austrian architectural critic, Joseph August Lux, who in 1908 wrote a book called Künsterlische Kodakgeheimnisse (Artistic Secrets of the Kodak) in which he championed the use of Kodak cameras like the Brownie. Guided by a position that was influenced by the Catholic critique of modernity, he argued that the ease of use of the camera meant that people could photograph and document their surroundings and thus produce, what he hoped, was a type of stability in the ebb and flow of the modern world.

Source: Wikipedia

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14 responses

  • Thad Zajdowicz

    Thad Zajdowicz   gave props (6 Nov 2013):

    Well done -- marvelous essay!!

  • Andrea Petersen

    Andrea Petersen gave props (6 Nov 2013):

    Another wonderful series in your collection and what I like the best is that you are a born teacher who we can learn from by example....You have both my votes.

  • Saroj Swain

    Saroj Swain gave props (6 Nov 2013):

    Great shots!!! and nice narration.... Vote John....

  • Sarah Springer

    Sarah Springer   gave props (7 Nov 2013):

    You are rockin' this essay with extraordinary street images, John!

  • ! Mario Scattoloni ¡

    ! Mario Scattoloni ¡ gave props (8 Nov 2013):

    Love this series would like 2 see how far U COULD push this body of work. Congrats keep on keepin´on.

  • rekha nag

    rekha nag gave props (8 Nov 2013):

    Voted! loved the essay.

  • Deborah Downes

    Deborah Downes   gave props (9 Nov 2013):

    Each tells a unique story. Outstanding series, John. Sure gets my votes.

  • Michael Billert

    Michael Billert said (13 Nov 2013):

    We call this "street shotin" or 'kidnapping'. The main thing is to always be ready, you never know when the shot will appear. mjb

  • Carlo Pagan

    Carlo Pagan gave props (13 Nov 2013):

    MY VOTE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Litz Go

    Litz Go gave props (13 Nov 2013):

    an excellent photo essay. Love the use of B&W throughout.

  • Massimo Bardelli

    Massimo Bardelli   gave props (14 Nov 2013):

    Wonderful series John, great work, I love what you did here in B&W!

  • Massimo Bardelli

    Massimo Bardelli   gave props (14 Nov 2013):

    Wonderful series John, great work, I love what you did here in B&W!

  • Bailey Cooper

    Bailey Cooper   gave props (14 Nov 2013):

    Slidin' in for the V.

  • Sonia Adam Murray

    Sonia Adam Murray   gave props (15 Nov 2013):

    Another Brilliant story!

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