Vocabulary

I received my books from the Essential Reading list on Friday –  Photography: A Critical Introduction, edited by Liz Wells; Light Science & Magic by Fil Hunter, Steven Biver and Paul Fugqua; and Behind the Image – Research in Photography by Anna Fox and Natasha Caruana. My tutor advised me to review chapter one of Photography: A Critical Introduction so I sat down on Saturday eager to get started. There is a lot of vocabulary to learn and as I work through my various textbooks and readings I will add to this list:

  • physiognotrace – a turn of the 18th century type of Autocad/draughting board device on an easel with a screen where the subject sits in front of the screen lit by a candle and the “photographer” traces his profile
  • semiotics – study of signs: I did find a decent website that gives pretty good explanations about this topic, namely Semiotics for Beginners by Daniel Chandler
  • modernism – the period roughly from the Industrial Revolution between the 18th and 19th century. Many rapid changes occurred during this time period
  • postmodernism – developments in art from about the 1980’s
  • simulacrum – something made to look like something – think Las Vegas – Luxor (looks like a pyramid)
  • positivism – recognizing only that which can be scientifically verified or which is capable of logical or mathematical proof therefore rejecting metaphysics and theism
  • indexicality – involves codes – there are three kinds: iconic, indexical and symbolic
  • oeuvre – a body of work
  • mise-en-scène – arrangement of scenery or furniture as in a play.

Next on my list is the case study of Dorothea Lange’s Migrant Mother.

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