Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Photography & Truthfulness

There is a terrible truthfulness about photography.
The ordinary academician gets hold of a pretty model,
paints her as well as he can, calls her Juliet,
and puts a nice verse from Shakespeare underneath,
and the picture is admired beyond measure.
The photographer finds the same pretty girl,
he dresses her up and photographs her, and calls her Juliet,
but somehow it is no good -it is still Miss Wilkins, the model.
It is too true to be Juliet.
George Bernard Shaw
Wilson's Photographic Magazine, LVI, 1909


Becca said...

Interesting quote; it awoke a nice train of thought this tired saturday morning.
As I read it it refers to the inescapable indexical quality of photography, that what fascinates me the most about the medium. However the word "truth" causes an instant allergic reaction to me, but I guess a child of postmodernism can never think of photographs as an unmediated copy of the world.
It might not be Juliet, but it shore isn't miss Wilkins either that the photographer captures.

AcrossCultures said...

As regards the question of truth in photography: some additional food for thought you might find in the email exchange at the bottom of this article here:

AcrossCultures said...

Sorry, this is the link: