Critical Theory of Photography | Month 1| The Mind’s Eye

“To take a photograph is to hold one’s breath when all faculties converge in the face of fleeing reality” – Henri Cartier- Bresson

I am so excited about this blog circle I joined!  We are reading one book on photography every month and discussing it, and then shooting with that book in mind. This month we read The Mind’s Eye by Henri Cartier- Bresson. Bresson has a very photo journalistic style himself. He talks about how a “picture story involves a joint operation of the brain, the eye, and the heart”.

If I am being honest, I really struggled with this assignment. I don’t consider myself a lifestyle photographer, most of my work is well thought out and planned. I enjoy setting up a scene for a photo, and then further enhancing it in Photoshop. I spent the first part of the month trying my hardest to take lifestyle like images, but I really felt I was falling short. And then it dawned on me that I do take lifestyle photos, just not with my DSLR. I use my iphone’s camera every day, and I love the images I am able to capture with it. These are the images that make up our family albums, the images that tell our story. There is something about shooting with my phone that frees me from all my preconceived notions. I love the freedom it allows me. This is what our January looked like.




I did want to take some images with my DSLR though, and so I took a different approach to it the second time around. Bresson touches on taking portraits in the book and says “if the photographer is to have a chance of achieving a true reflection of a person’s world – which is as much outside him as inside him – it is necessary that the subject of the portrait should be in a situation normal to him.” I called on my 15 year old niece to be my subject,and we took these portraits in her family home. I used the light I had, and didn’t change anything around. I did ask her to clean her room though before I came over.:)

maddie_3133 copy 3maddie_3281 copy

The talent in this group of women is nothing short of amazing, so make sure to keep reading and check out Jo Lien’s post too!



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LissaJanuary 31, 2014 - 10:22 am

Love these, Beth! Your iPhone shots are amazing and I LOVE all the photographs of your niece. Gorgeous!!

Celeste PavlikJanuary 31, 2014 - 11:20 am

Wow Wow Wow Beth! The month of iphone shots is fantastic!! The big camera pics of your niece? Stunning. I bet she loves these!!! So glad we’re doing this together this year!! xo

JoJanuary 31, 2014 - 1:58 pm

I love the way that you thought about tools as well as the photograph itself in relation to this topic! Your images of your niece are beautiful, and as a viewer, I really do feel like I get a peek inside of who she is!

AnnieFebruary 11, 2014 - 9:14 am

These are fabulous. I especially love the BW ones, they really capture her essence.

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