American Idol

American Idol

Key: R20120415-210557-v1

I’m trying to think of a good name to describe the category of photographs I am making that are not found photographs. “Conceptual” is a mouthful and maybe not entirely accurate, but it may have to do until I think of a better word.


3 thoughts on “American Idol

  1. Wouldn’t this be a “made” photograph, as opposed to a “taken” photograph? I know people who gets offended if some one asks them where they “took” a particular photo. 🙂

    • Hi Ove,
      That’s a good suggestion, and it occurred to me. However, a lot of photographers would say that all their photographs are “made”, not taken, due to the care and skill in the “making” of the photograph. What I want to distinguish is the genesis of the photograph: did it come from seeing something, thinking “there is something worth photographing here”, and making the photograph of that (possibly rearranging things, post processing, etc) or did it come from an idea in the mind, causing one to seek out the appropriate materials and location to make the photo?

      I’m beginning to think that maybe not many people are really concerned about this distinction, and yet it seems to me to be at the crux of a lot of philosophical debates about photography and art. It’s tricky, because ideas springing from the mind of course are influenced by many things we experience (including what we see). To me, the important difference is in the way that I start the process. The found photograph usually results from me being out and about with the camera, or noticing something in the house. The conceptual photograph comes to me in a dream, a brainstorming session, or when I am quietly pondering an issue.

  2. It’s an interesting distinction, to refer to the original idea. If you had the idea prior to capturing the photograph, it certainly is a difference. Such ones can very well be seen as made photographs. The conceptual photograph, it’s more than just being made, it is the result of a longer thought. But it’s still made. Trying to give a value of how much the creation of a certain piece of work is worth by evaluating the original idea might be hard, though… Just thinking out loud now, this comment was not intented to answer anything.

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