After Photography

Overview

In the tradition of John Berger and Susan Sontag, Fred Ritchin analyzes photography’s failings and reveals untapped potentials for this evolving medium.
One of our most influential commentators on photography investigates the future of visual media as the digital revolution transforms images, changing the way we conceptualize the world. From photos of news events taken on cell phones to the widespread use of image surveillance, digital media has fundamentally altered the way we ...

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Overview

In the tradition of John Berger and Susan Sontag, Fred Ritchin analyzes photography’s failings and reveals untapped potentials for this evolving medium.
One of our most influential commentators on photography investigates the future of visual media as the digital revolution transforms images, changing the way we conceptualize the world. From photos of news events taken on cell phones to the widespread use of image surveillance, digital media has fundamentally altered the way we receive visual information. Simultaneously, the increased manipulation of photographs has made photography suspect as reliable documentation, raising questions about its role in recounting personal and public histories.
In a world beset by critical problems and ambiguous boundaries, Ritchin argues that it is time to begin energetically exploring possibilities created by technological innovations, and to use them to better understand our rapidly changing world.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Ritchen (In Our Own Image) offers a supple, politically astute and fascinating account of the dizzying impact of the digital revolution on the trajectory of the photographic image that, like all new media, changes the world in the very act of observing it. The myth of photographic objectivity has concealed fakery as old as the medium itself, he notes, but in the digital era, concealment and manipulation come to shape the very experience of the image as sui generis: "The lens has dimmed and a distorting mirror has been added." All is not lost for photography as a truth-telling medium, however: the author suggests methods for verifying the authenticity and provenance of images through footnoting and labeling. Moreover, Ritchen stresses how digital media, linked through the Web, offer an appropriative and hypertextual approach to photography that promises to reinvent the embattled authorial image into an evolving collaboration, conversation and investigation among an infinite number of ordinary people. Cautiously optimistic, the author poses provocative questions throughout, including whether digital technology and Web 2.0 together provide a means for regaining a sense of the "actual" from deep within a "virtual" world. (Dec.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393337730
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 2/15/2010
  • Pages: 200
  • Sales rank: 598,873
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Fred Ritchin is the director of PixelPress and a professor of photography and imaging at New York University. He was named one of the 100 most important people in photography by American Photo magazine. He lives in New York City.

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Table of Contents

Preface 8

Ch. 1 Into the Digital 14

Ch. 2 Of Pixels and Paradox 24

Ch. 3 From Zero to One 52

Ch. 4 Mosaic Connections 68

Ch. 5 Image, War, Legacy 78

Ch. 6 Beginning the Conversation 96

Ch. 7 The Social Photograph 124

Ch. 8 Toward a Hyperphotography 140

Ch. 9 Of Synthetics and Cyborgs 162

Ch. 10 A Quantum Leap 176

Afterword 184

Endnotes 186

Bibliography 188

Web sites 190

Credits 190

Acknowledgments 191

Index 193

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