Photography, there has to be a dialogue.

“Think about family photography. It’s great if you want to photograph your family’s drama, whatever it might be. Things is, though, we all got some family drama, and we’ve also seen quite a bit of it photographed already. So what is it then that you’re bringing to the conversation that adds something substantially new? This is not to deny your personal drama. It’s just wondering why everybody else needs to see it.”

cphmag: A Game of Expectations

1989 Tiananmen Square protest by Jeff Widener

1989 Tiananmen Square protest by Jeff Widener

“Photographs really are just pictures. Not more and not less. It is not their task to change anything. It might be ours, and whatever might us make or contribute to change can in part be contained in a photograph. But that’s about as far as it goes. Yet, we constantly demand that photographs do more. Whatever important event happens, we are not content unless there exists an iconic photograph that can serve as, let’s say, the event’s ambassador. That iconic photograph then stands for the event, essentially simplifying the complexity of something down to a simple picture. What do we gain from such a behaviour other than simplifying what probably is quite complex down to something so utterly simple and simplistic, a picture?”

Francis Hodgson talking with Jörg Colberg

Joan Fontcuberta and Pere Formiguera 'Fauna' 1987

Joan Fontcuberta and Pere Formiguera ‘Fauna’ 1987

What follows is a conversation. It is rough and ready, and it is closer to a collection of notes than to finished writing. At the centre of it lies the shared conviction that it is high time that we sought certain standards whereby to discriminate between photography as digital junk and photography as the most powerful and engaging means of communication that we have. The former sometimes poses as the latter, and more often the latter is mistakenly dismissed for not being properly distinguished from the former.