Discussion 12: Contemporary photography 

– Alterations are not allowed in press photography, but they are one of the tools used in contemporary art photography? Why?

Alterations are used to change the reality according to what the photographer wishes to show the audience. Therefore, in press photography, alterations are not allowed. Press photography is supposed to bring the truth to the public. It is against the code of ethics of photojournalists to alter their images.

On the other hand, contemporary art photographers use their imagination to create their photographs. There is no truth or reality to convey in art photography. Thus, alterations are one of the tools used in contemporary art photography.

– Compare photographs of Sommer, Adams and Klett versus Parkeharrison, Muniz and Crewdson. What happened to the photography? Is this its future?

Sommer:  Frederick Sommer was a realist photographer too. He liked to click the present as best as he could. He liked depicting high contrast colour and lighting in his photographs. (Frederick and Frances Sommer Foundation, 2004-2017)

Adams: Robert Adams captured the transition of the world around him from the 1970s to early 2000s. He did not manipulate his photographs and conveyed the true picture of his surroundings. His photographs are held by various prestigious art galleries worldwide. (Fraenkel Gallery, 2018)

Klett: Mark Klett is known for his rephotography approach. He likes to observe the effect of time on the same place or thing by clicking the same subject over many years, and from the same vantage point. He has recreated many famous photographs from the 19th century. (Etherton Gallery, 2018)


Parkeharrison: Robert and Shana Parkeharrison are clicking images which are related to the modern life, the failed science and technology which is affecting everyone and an artistic interpretation of modern issues. Their approach is more fictitious, but one that stems from reality. (Robert and Shana Parkeherrison, 2018)

Muniz: Vik Muniz creates photographs from the people’s perspective. He shows the world all that is considered regular and artistically makes it very meaningful. (Vik Muniz, 2018)

Crewdson: Gregory Crewdson uses the real world to create pictures which look dreamy, somewhat like in the movies. It is somewhere in-between fiction and reality. This is because the characters and scenes are fictitious, while the surroundings are real. This can be called manipulation or altering because he stages his photographs according to his imagination. It is not the true moment which he captured. (Gagosian, 2018)


Etherton Gallery . (2018). Mark Klett. Retrieved from Etherton Gallery : http://www.ethertongallery.com/html/artist_detail.php?recordID=39

Fraenkel Gallery. (2018). Robert Adams. Retrieved from Fraenkel Gallery: https://fraenkelgallery.com/artists/robert-adams

Frederick and Frances Sommer Foundation. (2004-2017). Home. Retrieved from Frederick Sommer: http://www.fredericksommer.org/index.php

Gagosian. (2018). Gregory Crewdson at Gagosian. Retrieved from Gagosian: https://www.gagosian.com/artists/gregory-crewdson

Robert and Shana Parkeherrison. (2018). Retrieved from Robert and Shana Parkeherrison: http://www.parkeharrison.com/precipice-2016/447

Vik Muniz. (2018). Retrieved from Vik Muniz: http://vikmuniz.net/