andrewmolitor

Why NFTs (Probably) Won’t Make You Money in the Long Run

Over the last few weeks, it seems like the world wide web has been swamped with both explainers and critiques of Non-Fungible Tokens, or NFTs. It’s a pyramid scheme! It’s the next thing in Fine Art! It’s an ecological disaster! I am making so much money!

Thoughts on a Framework for Photo Ethics

Ethics in photography is a topic that just keeps popping up. Whether it’s the latest dish on Magnum, or an argument about photographing the homeless, some days it seems you can’t turn around without stumbling across another disagreement.

Regarding Photographs: And In Conclusion…

This is the end of my essay series on how we see and think about photographs. While I could certainly ramble on more or less forever, this is a good place to stop.

Regarding Photographs: On the Ethics of Photography II

In the previous essay I set aside a category of ethical issues around photographs. Specifically, the issues that arise from the very existence of the photo, rather than from the meaning of it. Issues around consent, and around extraction (who gets paid.)

Regarding Photographs: On the Ethics of Photography I

In the ongoing spirit of applying my new(?) model of thinking about photographs to old questions, let’s take a pass through “ethics” to see if anything interesting shows up.

Regarding Photographs: On the Truth of a Photo

I’ve been writing for a while now on this single idea: that photographs transport you, in a sense, to the scene of the photograph; that you therefore react to photographs as if you were there, viscerally; that you react specifically by imagining the world around the photo; and finally that this imaginative reaction, this meaning you make, is of central importance in understanding a photograph.

Regarding Photographs: Photo Criticism — An Example

If you’ve been following along for any length of time, you might be starting to wonder if the author here even owns a camera, and if so, whether he can work it at all. I can! I really do, and I can! I mean, kinda, anyways.

Regarding Photographs: Photo Criticism

The previous essays in this series have tried to develop some ideas about what happens when people look at photos. The realism, that mass of realistic detail, causes (I claim) a visceral reaction: we feel, we react, we think, a little as if we were transported by the photograph into the scene itself.

Regarding Photographs: Reading Photos III

In the previous essay on reading photos, I looked at how things we know, mental baggage we have accumulated besides just memories, affect what we see in a photograph. Things like cultural background, political beliefs, movies we’ve seen, or books we’ve read.

Regarding Photographs: Reading Photos II

In the previous essay, I introduced a couple of imaginary photographs. The first, an old woman celebrating her birthday with family and friends; the second a photograph of a man seated in a chair, attentive to something out of frame.

Regarding Photographs: Reading Photos I

This is the third essay in this series, and it begins a smaller sequence of notes running over the ways we as viewers make sense of pictures. We spend, I think, too much time thinking about what happens before and during the making of a picture, but not enough on what happens when someone actually looks at it. For most of us, for most pictures, surely this is the most interesting time?

Regarding Photographs: On Consent

In the previous essay, I made an argument that photographs (and things that are like photographs) metaphorically transport us into the scene of the photo. We react, body and mind, a little bit as if we were actually present.

Regarding Photographs: What Does a Photograph DO Anyways?

So, you make photographs? Or take them, or something like that? I’m going to guess here that you probably hope people will like them, or see something in them that’s interesting. You’re interested in how people see photographs, how people make sense of photos. Me too.

Social Media Injustice?

Social media is always an uproar, there's no way around it. Photography social media is much the same, and mostly it's mostly harmless fun. I want to draw attention to two recent episodes that were not harmless fun, and which I worry point toward a larger trend.

A Cautionary Example of Lens Compression

Somehow or other lens compression effects seem to have hit the zeitgeist. A day does not go by when I fail to see some news photograph critiqued on the grounds of lens compression. Either what it appears to show is fake (or allegedly fake) due to lens compression, or lens compression is concealing some truth. So here's a little description of it, and a cautionary example.

The National Archives ‘Women’s March’ Photoshop Disaster

The National Archives of the USA is putting on a show. "Rightfully Hers: American Women and The Vote." Out front of the show, there is a large visual display that includes an iconic photograph of the Jan 21, 2017 Women's March on DC with some blurred out elements. Specifically blurred out is some language on the protest signs, language the Archive staff judged to be political or NSFW. You can read more about it here.

Photography: AI Everywhere

There are two major trends in photography today. The first is the ever-increasing numbers of photos being made. I can't even be bothered to look up how many billions of photos are being uploaded to Instickrbook every minute or every day or every year. It's a lot. This is usually talked about in terms of how many photos there are, and how we are drowning in them.

Women in Photojournalism

In the last couple of years (has it really been that long?) we've been hearing revelations of the trials of female photojournalists. Nothing, unfortunately, too unexpected. Every time around someone writes another version of the standard essay on this topic covering much the same appalling ground every time. See, for instance, this recent iteration.