February 20 – The Serpent (and semiotics)

02-20 The Serpent postToday’s photograph for the continuation of ‘Film February’ corresponds to a time when I was first exposed to a different, more literary side of photography. After reading “Subculture: The Meaning of Style” by Dick Hebdige, the door to semiotics was opened. It was nauseatingly confusing to me, this new philosophy of graphic language, but it was also intriguing. I fell down the rabbit hole and found myself thinking about my photographs in a completely different way. I’m reminded of one of photography’s seminal publications, “Camera Lucida: Reflections on Photography,” and a particular passage by author Roland Barthes which summarizes my feelings perfectly:

“For me the noise of Time is not sad: I love bells, clocks, watches — and I recall that at first photographic implements were related to techniques of cabinetmaking and the machinery of precision: cameras, in short, were clocks for seeing, and perhaps in me someone very old still hears in the photographic mechanism the living sound of the wood.”

From the moment I began these new studies I started looking through the viewfinder differently. This is when I became interested in macro photography, and it’s when I became much more deliberate with my compositions. When I take the time to really investigate, I discover that there are interesting things all around, that there is always something interesting to investigate with my photographers’ tools. With camera in hand, I’m a kid looking under rocks and discovering whole worlds that I never knew were there before.

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