Lecture Notes and Comments
Outline: In these two lectures, our instructor Bill Kuykendall spoke in depth about the camera, and the power that the camera has to produce the illusion of truth, and the power that effect has on us and society. Here are my notes for these lectures (Journal for November 12.) I’ve combined my posts into just one because the topic material didn’t really change day to day, but simply continued into the next day. The main point that Bill started off with in class was the history of the camera, and how it has evolved technologically from the early stages of development. He focused on the technical aspects of the camera, such as pixels and color ratios next, highlighting these features so that we would better understand how a camera can produce an image. After this, he showed advances in photography technology that allowed the photographer to change or distort the picture so that the essential meaning could stay the same, but the actual makeup of the picture was different. After this, he went on to discuss why this was important, and how this affected societies view of truth and reality through this medium.
Comments: This was all new information to me, having never actually messed around with photography technology before. I especially liked the point that Bill made about when the camera first came out, any photo taken with it was considered to be truth. How could it lie? It couldn’t manipulate the scene, it could only show what was there. This had a strong affect on society, and film makers like Dziga Vertov took that idea and ran with it. A very interesting idea to think about and ponder, and wonder how this has changed as the years have gone by.
What can we take as new media students from this lecture? We need to realize the power of the media that we use, and we need to start thinking about how what we makes affects those that view our media. We should also ponder if our society has gotten any wiser when it comes to the truth portrayed by the media. Are we any further along than we were, or has nothing changed? Certainly an interesting topic to keep in mind.