351MC Photography and Narrative – Session Two

On Wednesday 8th October 2014, I attended my second #phonar session which started off with a brief discussion about what we took away from last week. We then spent time, individually, listening to an interview with Fred Ritchin (which was conducted by our lecturer Jonathan Worth) whilst also taking notes. We then spent a small amount of time discussing the interview before breaking for #PhonarFood (a.k.a CAKE!). After we had a break, we then looked through a couple of people’s responses to last weeks task and simply discussed the purpose of it. To finish the day, we then had a brief introduction to the Adobe Audition software (again taken by Paul Adkins) that will be useful for this week’s task (which will be posted in a different blog post towards the end of the week). Below you will find the notes that I took throughout the day:


Our single-point-perspective has disappeared, which allows us to be able to read the large numbers of photographs that are being supplied by amateurs in this digital age

We should be able to look at multiple perspectives to make a meta-story.

Images are just data visualisations.


Fred Ritchin After Photography Guest Lecture:


(Please note, unless otherwise specified, all of the quote below are said by Fred Ritchin)


“If everyone starts doing this [fooling around with photographs], there will be skepticism about the photograph as a recording of the visible reality.”

“I consider photography to be a kind of consideration of appearances.”

“And just like a quotation in words, if you start to change somebody’s words, it is no longer a quotation.”

“This will look like a quotation, the photograph, but in fact it will be fabricated.”

“I think we have arrived at a place where photographs have lost much of their credibility.”

“What do we believe? Whose point of view is it? Whose side is it?”

“It’s very difficult now to depend upon photographs or videos without thinking of them as manipulations.”

“It’s the way god created man, but now man has the power to make the world into his or her own image.”

“Once a photograph was chosen, you could not go inside it, like you could a sentence, and add commas or change words or whatever. You could crop it, you could caption it, but you couldn’t really change it at that level of detail.”

“I worked briefly as a photographer, but as a picture editor, you have much more impact. You can argue for the right pictures, for the more interesting pictures, and hopefully you can witness it some of the time.” 

“I’d be an editor of photographs but a writer of words.”

“I think the point of photography is not to celebrate itself, but the point of photography is to be useful in the world, to try to get us to a better place.”

“Serious journalism could not exist unless it was on paper.”

Jonathan Worth: “People experienced an image but saw a photograph.”

“With photography, if we just stopped thinking about it, the digital version of it, as just a more efficient way of working but as basically the same as analogue.”

“Digital photography does not equal efficient photography.” 

“It’s a different way of expression oneself, it’s a different way of reaching audiences, it’s a different way of describing the world.”

“Sometimes it’s good to be a little more pragmatic.”

“If this is a revolution in media, we need to think in revolutionary ways.”

“Photography is really good at being reactive… But I prefer a pro-active photography.” 

“How to make a hybrid of the two, the best of the professional and the best of the amateur, is a major challenge right now.”

“That’s why I wrote the book [Bending the Frame] in order to encourage these building of bridges into new ways of understanding the world and new ways of guiding ourselves as people to a better planet.”


If you listen to the audio of the Interview, you will hear that they also discuss a report that Adobe primarily released in February of 1990 (it has recently been re-released as a 20th Anniversary celebratory video). I have included this video below:



Interview Discussion:

Is the image more trustworthy than the photo due to the almost infinite amount of data it’s made of?

Digital Media has a different architecture to that of analogue, it is code based” – similar to that of time, time is no longer “mid-morning” but 10:23.


Week 1 Task: Alienated Sensory Mash-Up Discussion:

The purpose of this task was to think about ownership and authorship – how are you going to license your work to let others use it?


Adobe Audition Introduction:


Storify of Session: