Now that the hubbub surrounding the comment moderating posts from a few days ago has died down, I thought I'd gently mention a persistent fallacy that rears its head around here from time to time. There's no way, folks, that this blog can be "just about photography," for one simple reason: photography is not just about photography.
Photography is mainly about life, and the world. It's about people, events, feeling-tone, places, animals, history, death, modes, conditions, politics (yes, politics), poetry, colors, evidence, personal identity, nostalgia, artistic expression, all sorts of things...and it's about responses as well. Photography is a recording medium that can be used in innumerable ways, for every sort of purpose under the sun; it trades in information and meaning, in the observance or in the breach, and the loop it proposes is a communications loop, between subject, photographer, and viewer and back around again, twisting and rebounding and reverberating betwixt and between subject and object in its implications—and it makes no sense to ignore all these significations. In other words, when looking at pictures of the homeless, it makes no sense not to discuss homelessness—or any of the many issues that pertain to the fact of subject, or to the pictures and the act of making them.
That much is clear here, isn't it—at least cumulatively? If this website has a theme, that is probably it. If T.O.P. were "only about photography" in the sense of being restricted to the phototechnical, it would be like a website about writing that discusses only pencils and word processing programs, or a blog about music that concentrates mainly on piano tunings or a conductor's stance on repeats. It would have to ignore far more than it includes. Which is fine for them what wants it, but it certainly ain't for me.
Posted by: MIKE JOHNSTON