Double Exposure

09Nov06

“The minute you start saying something, ‘Ah how beautiful! We must photograph it!’ you are already close to the view of the person who thinks that everything that is not photographed is lost, as if it had never existed, and that therefore, in order really to live, you must photograph as much as you can, and to photograph as much as you can you must either live in the most photographable way possible, or else consider photographable every moment of your life.”

                          — Italo Calvino, “The Adventures of a Photographer” (p.179)


Photographed by: kk+

 While this picture may not seem to fit this quote at first, I think it proves to be a really great representation of the cycle that photographing can lead to, as described by Antonino. This picture symbolizes the ending of the cycle, from one of the first pictures taken of this woman, to (we can speculate) maybe one of the last. Her holding of her own picture is definitely interesting, especially since then it is so easy to compare not only the physical change in the woman over the years, but also the evolution of the camera. The big picture is light, detailed, and seems softer, while the smaller picture is devoid in color, vague, and more severe. We can plainly see the tiniest wrinkles present on the old woman’s face, the fuzziness of her hair, while the smaller picture seems to hold no texture at all. 
       This also reminds me a lot of our discussions during “The House of the Seven Gables,” when we were discussing the severity of the daguerreotypes compared to more modern pictures, and also the fact that pictures seem to bring out an essence of the person’s true character. After looking at this old woman (and her younger self), I feel like this woman has a “story,” so to speak, or has a particularly unusual past. Through studying the photograph, even though she is not making a specific expression in it, I feel as if this woman is a really strong person, someone who has weathered all kinds of problems, and has a tough durability that allows her to keep on living her life. Although it may be different for other people looking at this picture (such is the way of art!), I feel like this woman’s life would have been “photographable” the whole way through.
   -Amanda G.

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5 Responses to “Double Exposure”

  1. 1 eparks

    I think it’s really interesting that you picked that quote and photo to go together, although your conclusion definitely shows that there is a connection between the two not initially evident. The photo does represent the “photographability” (though I doubt that’s a word) of life, showing the beginning and end, yet excluding the middle.

    The strange thingis, as I was scrolling down the page, that photograph caught my attention for a completely different reason. It made me think of Part II in Barthes when he is examining old photographs of his mother, ranging from her 5-year-old self — which he considers to have captured her better than any recent shot — to her just before her death, surrounded by his friends. I think the above photograph parallels that instance as well.

    It’s amazing how many connotations can be associated with one photograph.

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