To See and To be Seen; the object as an extrinsic force.

“Photography is not like painting. ere is a creative fraction of a second when you are taking a picture. Your eye must see a composition or an expression that life itself offers you, and you must know with intuition when to click the camera

Henri-Cartier Benson


The authority of capturing the other through a machine and not the authors hand is what has always negated photography as an art. In this post i will be continuing from where i stopped in my previous post; subject as concentric force, but we will be focusing on the object, more specifically, representing the object.

So I was trying to end with a power phrase in my last post- ‘The perspective of the photographer is his/her authority upon the image.’ but this is where we expand more on this. When considering the object as an extrinsic force according to Baudrillard, it suggests that the object pulls the photographer and in that ‘Decisive moment’, the object is made into an image with the click of a button. ‘My photographs are rather obvious lies given the semblance of truth by these contradictory qualities of the medium, still unshakeable after 170 years: a decidedly subjective interpretation buried within a supposedly objective vision‘ (Estabrook, Notes on the art of failure) 

I believe this quote captures my understanding of the object as an extrensic force perfectly and I would like to break it down; The semblance of truth of here suggest that the photographic image as form of the other means that it is the appearance of the other that is created, an image of the appearance that is captured from the perspective of the concentric force, the all round capturing eye that decides what to show and what to hide i.e the subject, thus making a decidedly subjective interpretation of the other that is to be understood with a supposedly objective vision. Boy, I have fallen in love photography, the still image that one can create with powerfully embedded but subtle meaning. The craft of making art via pointing and shooting though mundane, is a craft that has its authority embedded in perspective, this is what makes photography an exciting art for me.

We’ve now been taught the rules to taking pictures;

  • Rules of third
  • Use lines to direct eye
  • Diagonal lines
  • Framing; use natural framing
  • Contrast between subject and foreground
  • Fill the frame
  • Place dominant eye in centre of direction
  • Patterns are aesthetically pleasing.

Given this rules, with great power comes great responsibility, or irresponsibility, its time to break them!


I took this module to not only understand the theoretical implications underlying image composition but to also learn how to take pictures. Coming from a videography background, I have always stayed away from photography and focused more on moving images. The interesting thing is that to specify on moving images as an art form is to begin form the still image i.e. to make films you have to start from photography. Don’t get me wrong its not that I never took pictures, of course I did, but when it comes to creating meaning through visual art, I stuck to video production more. Given my background, I decided to go out and train my hand in taking pictures. We have now been taught the different functions and parts of the camera and how take control of them to take great pictures;

  • Shutter speed
  • Aperture
  • Iso




In this picture(s), I was trying to capture the sublime mystery that (may) lies behind the trees. By imposing the tree within the frame on the bearer of the image by filling the frame with the trees and leading the eye in the direction of the middle of the picture I think I was able to achieve this. In my first attempt which is pic a, my shutter speed was slow and my ISO was a bit too high, so in order to create a darker picture to create the illusion of mystery I made made my shutter speed faster and reduced my iso, my aperture was fine and so I pressed the button with the authority of my perspective.

Given that Photography is a semblance of truth, I am thinking about playing with this idea. The acceptance of realism i.e. naive realism in a photographic image is how the objective vision of the image is constructed. SO, what if I can construct a photo that is read as a painting. Given that I also want to create pictures inspired by Duane Michals, who was also interested in the juxtaposition of the old and new, the photo and the painting/drawing, this work will be separate from the sequential photography but the two projects will be circling around the narrative of the authentic.


Baudrillard, Jean and Nicholas Zurbrugg. Jean Baudrillard. London: SAGE Publications, 1997. Print.

Cartier-Bresson, Henri, Henri Matisse, and E Tériade. The Decisive Moment. New York: Published … by Simon and Schuster in collaboration with Éditions Verve of Paris, 1952. Print.

Persinger, Tom. Photography. Print.

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