Photography is a large part of our world today, everywhere you go you are likely to see photographs. The first photograph was taken in 1826, this opened up a world of opportunity and development. In the early days of photography it was extremely difficult to take portraits do to the long exposure time. The chemicals used were weak and it took a significant amount of time to fix the image. If a person moved while sitting or standing for their portrait a clamp was fashioned which enabled a person to sit or stand while having their body and head fixed into position so that they could wait for the full exposure to take place. If we stay motionless in a fixed position for one minute we se how difficult it would have been to sit for hours while the exposure took place. In the early days of photography many images were taken of the dead. A large amount of pictures were taken in Victorian times of children with ‘invisible’ mothers. http://ridiculouslyinteresting.com/2012/01/05/hidden-mothers-in-victorian-portraits/.
Since then we have evolved a great deal and take ‘selfies’ of self-portraits on a daily basis. The first selfie was taken in 1839 oct or nov, of Robert Cornelius, approximate quarter plate daguerreotype, the back read “the first light picture ever taken.” Do we feel that it is possible to take a self portrait while being unaware and not posing. Personally I think not as you are in control of your hand and will always be aware of what you are doing.
Philip-Lorca DiCorcia took pictures of unknowing people in Times Square New York. He rigged s strobe light to scaffold, which was activated by radio signal. The strobe only picked up light and so it looks as if the images were taken deliberately and can look as if they are staged. In 2006 DiCorcia was sued for using a mans photo without permission. Philip DiCocia wasn’t comfortable taking pictures of people, but the diversity of people interested him, he uncovers inner values without getting up close. There is little on the outside to give away who the real person is. We have to find subtle clues to show us who they are. He builds the situation of the photographs after he has taken them. He dramatizes them, using camera light manipulations. However can you really show reality, is it just viewed as what you want it to be and not what it actually is.
“Nothing tells stories from normal moments” – La Jetee (1962) by Chris Marker