About this Blog

Photo Writing is the web version of the Photo Writing mini-magazine produced by Limephoto and Emil von Maltitz since 2010. As of 2015 it is now completely online. Feel free to browse through the articles and please leave comments in the comments section if you would like to engage with us.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Context and Style - A commentary on a changing view of Steve McCurry

Tastes change. Yesterday we may have appreciated a particular artist for the work that they produced and tomorrow we may be indifferent to it, preferring that of another, potentially even of a contemporary of the former. Context changes too. Just consider the massive changes in technology that have swept through photography between the invention of the daguerreotype and the widespread acceptance of digital imaging. Each change of technology came along with new norms as to how to create imagery as well as how to read that imagery. A photographer unschooled in the history of photography might look at an image by Gustav le Grey and pronounce that le Grey was a poor technician of photography as his images lack acuity and that the compositions are far to central. The critic in this case is forgetting that Gustav le Grey was creating images in a time prior to even the 35mm camera, let alone roll-film and that his work was considered extraordinarily creative and artistic at a stage when the camera was predominantly seen as a tool of recording, not of artistic 'creation'.