Film photography and darkroom practices

Category: Philosophy

Reading Camera Lucida (Part 1)

‘Camera Lucida, Reflections on Photography‘ is unlike any other book written by Roland Barthes. It is neither philosophy not is it literature. It occupies a space between the two – literary philosophy. Like poetry, a slow reading of ‘his little book’, as Barthes liked to call it, is essential.

This post is the first in a series of short readings of Camera Lucida. My aim is to travel slowly through the book to see what thoughts are sparked off, for that is the promise intimated by Barthes literary style. The style of the book is perfect for dwelling in any found interludes.

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On Scrutons’ mistake

In brief…..
Roger Scruton famously rejected photography as an art form on the grounds that, being causal, photographs cannot represent an artist’s intentions. For Scruton, paintings can enable us to see lines, shapes and colours ‘as’ something other than lines, shapes and colours per se. Photographs cannot do this. Wilfrid Sellar’s ideas on the role of phenomenal content in visual perception provide a fruitful approach to questioning Scrutons’ thesis.

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