25th/ 26th May – Observed observers

For once, I didn’t take many pictures today! Photography is, as Mia Hunt points out in a recent paper on urban photogrpahy as a research method, a way of being in, and producing versions of place[1] . This has all kinds of benefits from being able to tell a story visually as well as, or instead of through language; by drawing attention to the material things and actions of where we are; by creating and evoking atmospheres and emotions of place…All good and interesting. It is also a performance and way of observing and experiencing place. Does the camera ever lie? Well, maybe, maybe not, but it can frame, omit, draw attention to and zoom in and be mainpulated after the event. Its use can identify someone as tourist, researcher, visitor, professional or amateur. None of these things are particularly bad per se, but occasionally it is nice to stop framing what is around you from behind the lens and take it in 360 and unencumbered. Mainly this involved soaking up some sun rays and reflecting on the past 2 weeks on this occasion.

Picture

First thing to do on arrival to Svalbard. Watching the photographers was more fun than being one in chilly conditions! (Photo credit: Stephen Saville)
[1] Hunt, M.A. (2014) ‘Urban Photography/Cultural Geography: Spaces, Objects, Events’, Geography Compass, 8(3), pp.151–168. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/gec3.12120/abstract

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