The Detail Essay

1257 Words6 Pages
The Detail In The Photographers eye, John Szarkowski's essay from 1966 he describes five different characteristics about how to look at photographs. I will relate his view on The Detail onto the four photographs I have chosen. I will show different examples of analysing the meaning of the detail. I will also discuss if szarkowskis terms still applies for today's photographs. Photographs are often richly filled with symbols, some which are very recognizable while others need you to study the photograph a little further. Szarkowski claims that symbols can reveal depths of undiscovered meaning which would help the viewer fully understand its content: 'If photographs could not be read as stories, they could be read as symbols' (Szarkowski, 1966 p.8) In both images by Crewdson and Hardy consists of a mirror which is positioned so you initially notices it. 'Among all the objects endowed with symbolic significance, the mirror hold a position of privilege. Its ambiguity and multiplicity of meanings are reflected in the extraordinarily rich iconography that has been attempting to represent it from the Middle Ages to the present day.' (Battistini , 2002 p. 138). In Crewdsons image we see a naked woman and her reflection in two off the three mirrors . She is standing in the middle looking vulnerable and insecure as if she is being watched by the person laying comfortably and confident in the bed. Crewdson creates a feeling of being odd, unfamiliar and silently still and is fully aware of what which feelings he generates: 'I was directly influenced by that particular essay (The Uncanny)' (Dyer, 2005 p.28). 'that the uncanny is that species of the frightening that goes back to what once well known and had long been familiar' (Freud, 2003, p.132) In Anne Hardy's work Incidence you have the feeling of being led into a
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