New Camera’s Lecture

Google, Lytro and the Death of the Decisive Moment.

Robert Capa is a good example of the decisive moment. Henri Cartier-Bresson though is the “creator” of this thought.
With the decisive moment, the camera was seen as being able to offer an exact record.

#1 “You can’t correct a photograph, if you have to correct it, it’s a new picture.”
#2 “Life is very fluid, sometimes a picture has disappeared and there is nothing you can do.”

Harold Edgerton, a Dr in science who used photography as a tool. (Shooting the apple, milk drop)

Heinz Maier took his picture “The new Way” which could highlight the debate between amateur and professional. With Edgerton, it was science yet with Maier anyone can do it now.

With quote #1, in RAW files we can debate whether the picture we see is the real picture.

Can we select the decisive moment after the event?

Weegee says that we still need access to have the decisive moment

Sports photography shows that we need speed in taking the pictures and uploading them. And with this last part, we need to become an image curator in editing our pictures.

“Photography has not changed since its origin except in its technical aspects, which for me are not important.” Cartier-Bresson

We then had a look at the various new camera’s and tools that were out now which photography was beginning to use:

Lytro camera: This small little camera comes with a punch. All you have to do is point and click at the area you want to frame, and the camera will have that image saved. However the magic comes in the post production; with some software that you would install onto your computer, you can change the depth of field of the picture afterwards.
This meant that if you took an image and the depth of field was blurry in a place where you want it to be crisp and sharp, you would be able to re-ajust towards that point with ease. However this brings up the issues of authenticity with the pictures (how do we know this is what the artist wanted?) and the art of photography; if we can just point and click to get a great picture, what’s the point in taking any more pictures with other cameras?

The Red Camera: This piece of equipment is truly unique. The video camera is able to produce such high quality recordings (which is why it is used in films today) that you are able to take a single still from any frame in the roll, and you will be able to produce a picture that would rival one of a DSLR. This means that we don’t have to have a camera with us and wait for the decisive moment, but rather we can just find it in one go easily, getting rid of the decisive moment.

Google street View: Perhaps the most interesting tool out of the three. We use Google maps on a day-to-day basis, using it to get directions to a place or how to divert if there is traffic. Yet we are able to use the street view as a photographic tool today, creating a non-moment of a sort. We have no knowledge of what had happened before or after, so all we got was what was happening at that moment there and then.
By using street view, we are able to take the most basic of scenes and completely change it on its head, just like what Aaron Hobson does with his images; creating a dramatic scene in which we think something id going to happen.
Yet Michael Wolf is able to use street view to bring back the decisive moment, mimicking Cartier Bresson’s puddle jump from a scene in street view as well.


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