John Szarkowski proposed that there are five categories of photographs.
- The thing itself:
Stephanie Harvey on Unsplash
Photography deals with the actual.
2. The detail:
Amber Flowers on Unsplash
Photography is tied to the facts of things.
3. The frame:
Evan Leith on Unsplash
The photograph is selected, not conceived.
Kyle Myburgh on Unsplash
Photographs are time exposures and describe discrete parcels of time.
5. Vantage point:
David Martin on Unsplash
This is a picture of a “photograph” that I created many years ago. In high school, someone in my parents neighborhood was getting a square of their sidewalk redone. Like the normal teenager, I of course messed it up. At the time, I did not know that I was creating a different kind of “photograph”. Drawing this smiley face in the cement was a perfect example of John Swarkowski’s time category. This smiley face is frozen in time. It will be there for at least decades, maybe even longer, until the cement is turned into rubble. I was very excited when I realized this would be a good example. I also love that part of me will forever be in this neighborhood!