Collage-o-Vision

An effective strategy when shooting, which emphasizes photography’s ability to render the world in two dimensions, is to imagine the future print as an assembly of elements on a two-dimensional plane; a collage, if you will, without resorting to a longer focal length (which rather crudely flattens space and draws attention to itself), so that the whole image is more than its parts.

These pictures are by Henri Cartier-Bresson. He and his Leica go back to the early thirties in some cases. As a journalist, he was able to travel extensively, and there is no doubt that he was looking through his viewfinder at the finished print to a large extent.

Ray Metzker, on the other hand, steeped in the philosophy of the Institute of Design in Chicago and benefitting from having Aaron Siskind, frederick Sommer and Harry Callahan as teachers, takes a cooler approach, and even resorts to making scenes as well as finding them.

Frederick Sommer, who liked to consider thinking about thinking and images about images, said that “Image is display; display is position.” Many of the above examples could be seen as images about images; when you volunteer the names of other photographers you’ve found who work in a similar collage-y vein, make your comments here for the restivus rest of us.

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