Exercise – A Decisive Moment

A few lines from the Bainbridge’s article I find particularly interesting:

‘Photography is not so much the result of what’s in front of the camera, rather than the motives, instincts and ideas behind it’

‘Ideas take place over aesthetic concerns, although they stay important’

Continuing the question whether it is the subject and moment in the photograph that defines the image, the role of the photographer or the interpretation of the viewer, I find that this article gives a balanced approach with good examples of photography that has gone beyond the pure esthetic concerns and visual language. I hadn’t realized before how much documentary photography has been defined by the media outlets that show the work and that with shifts in media there is much more freedom for photographers to ‘search for new ways to communicate with audiences’.

Now, when looking at a photograph we look beyond the pure visual languages and question how photographers have embedded themselves in situations and have negotiated themselves in situations.

These questions become especially clear in Donald Weber’s work on interrogation practices in the Ukraine. Weber was able to attend and photograph interrogations of Ukranian prisoners and take images at the points in which they were most under pressure. In a way these are very decisive moments, because they are taken at the height of the conversation. Knowing that these photographs are not staged, it does question what has made the photographer get to be there and what his ideas are of the practices that took place in front of his camera.

I read an interview on Lensculture in which he explains his ideas behind the project and it becomes clear that he has a deep understanding of what brings the police officers to use such force and makes the concept of power and bureaucracy to an higher level.

Bainbridge, H. (no date) Hereford Photography Festival. Available at: https://www.oca-student.com/sites/default/files/oca-content/key-resources/res-files/hereford_bainbridge.pdf (Accessed: 13 October 2016).
Weber, D. and LensCulture (no date) Interrogations – photographs by Donald Weber. Available at: https://www.lensculture.com/articles/donald-weber-interrogations#slide-1 (Accessed: 13 October 2016).

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