Real or fake?

my first attempt at what I am thinking of for assignment four, real or fake? I have been researching the work of a Canadian artist, Jeff Wall. There is a great interview with him here where he explain the ideas behind some of his work. He is interested in making images using photography for what he calls near documentary. I was particularly taken by his phrase in the interview about using photography to document the absence of an event.
He reconstructs events and photographs them. He also uses digital manipulation to make some of his images. His work is, among other things, an exploration of the line between fictional and factual images and the burden of the obligation of truth that photography carries with it. No other medium in the arts is expected to be true to life, such clichés like “the camera never lies” sum up our attitude to photography. Nobody asks a painter or a sculptor if that is a real painting or statue for example.
Jeff Wall’s work is proof that the same rule does not apply to photography, when I first saw this piece called mimic, my attitude to the piece completely changed when I discovered that it was a recreation using actors and not an actual street photograph.


About briancooney123

HOW I GOT HERE Of course, I wasn’t always a full time photographer. I spent a lot of time in the corporate world. I had a job which paid well, but just didn’t excite me. I remember the day when I had had enough. Enough of selling myself short, enough of dreaming too small, enough of doing what others expected of me. I had put away my dreams and told myself I would get back to them later, but somehow there always seemed to be something else that had to get done first. A friend of mine had recommended I take the NLP Business Practitioners course, and although I was really busy, I decided to do it. During that time, I began to imagine the different paths my life could take from here. While I had a hazy picture of what this other life might look like, I had a clear picture of where my current life was going if I didn’t change. It was a scary moment, a bit like standing on the edge of a cliff deciding whether to jump into the great unknown or stay on the cliff, safe but trapped. I jumped. The transition to the life I wanted was challenging The transition to the life I wanted was challenging but I would never go back. After that day I resolved to do what I love, to follow my bliss.  Picking up a camera after several years away, I found that many things had changed, the digital age had arrived. In the intervening years, I was too busy to pay any attention to my photography, and occasionally when I took something I really liked, I would think “how do some photographs seem so captivating and others leave me completely cold?” I knew this is what I was meant to do Somehow though, I knew this is what I was meant to do. I dedicated myself to learning everything I could about being a photographer. I took many, many courses and I read every book I could get my hands on, I still do. Since then, I have dedicated myself to helping other creative photographers achieve the results they want. And what a journey it has been. Last year I qualified as a coach. My main area of interest is creativity and helping others to express their vision. WHAT I BELIEVE Along the way, I’ve learnt that there are no rules. Experiment, explore, play. My advice is to make your art from your heart, not for the praise or the money.  Lighten up. It’s important to take your photography seriously, but it's a mistake to take yourself too seriously. Finally, you get what you want when you never, ever give up so enjoy every minute of it and just do it!
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2 Responses to Real or fake?

  1. Kieran Hamilton says:

    Great shot, I’ve seen this kind of thing in film plenty of times but never in photography, I really like it. You’ve inspired me to try something like this. Of course I’ll need to actually practice photographing people first!

  2. Thanks Kieran, I was very nervous last year when I started shooting people as subjects. Start with your friends and family and it gets easier the more you practice.

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