More Than Just A Picture

From the series, Navigation Without Numbers, ©2012 by Dave Ortiz

I am beginning to come to the conclusion that being a photographic artist today entails more than just snapping a picture. As I and many others have said already, with today’s cameras (and phones!) it is really easy to take a technically good photograph without really knowing the first thing about photography. As an artist you now have to give your photographs a sense of purpose and function. Just as a single word can only thrive in relation to other words and ideas so should a photograph created today  relate to other images (in a particular project or relate to images as part of a larger history) and exist to say something about the world (an idea, a truth).

As you know I am at the beginning phase of a new photographic project I am calling Navigation Without Numbers. At this point I am in the tentative stage of trying to figure out what I am trying to say and how it will be stated photographically. As you can see from above I like the idea of a spread consisting of 2 (maybe more?) images that physically touch and also have some intellectual/emotional connection. I guess a short explanation of what my project is about is man (meaning me) trying to situate himself in the larger universe. I also like the idea of photographing images from old manuscripts and books. Daido Moriyama once said (as usual I am wildly paraphrasing) that “copy” is the essence of photography. And since I work in a library, hey, why not? But seriously, I think incorporating historical illustrations depicting man’s struggle to understand himself and his place in the universe will give my photographs a historical depth and anchor. By the way, the image on the right is Kepler’s Platonic solid model of the Solar System from Mysterium Cosmographicum (1600)

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