ARC Presents: Rebecca Greenfield

Posted in Photography by Nathan Lee Bush on May 4, 2011

Some of the best photographers and videographers in the world walk through our doors every day. ARC Presents is our series highlighting their work on our blog.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Gary Winogrand once said:

From the photograph… (a) piece of time and space is well described. But not what is happening.

I think that there isn’t a photograph in the world that has any narrative ability. Any of ‘em. They do not tell stories – they show you what something looks like. To a camera. The minute you relate this thing to what was photographed — it’s a lie. It’s two-dimensional. It’s the illusion of literal description.. Photography, despite physically describing the has always had a dishonest quality.

Editorial photographers must come to terms with this reality. The seemingly impeccable descriptive qualities of a photograph can only show you how light looked on a surface to a camera at one exact moment from one exact perspective. Each step closer to real experience – putting photos in succession to create motion, adding recorded sound, adding 3D illusion, (however controversial, this follows the trend toward more descriptive quality) – gives the viewer more information to interpret correctly. Photography, from this perspective, is relatively primitive as a descriptive form. Almost everything the viewer interprets from the images is, strictly speaking, all in his or her head. But in tis enigmatic quality lies its magic, allowing the viewer to project their subjective experience onto this supposedly objective object.

The best editorial photography, ostensibly the pinnacle of narrative, acknowledges this limitation, and Rebecca Greenfield embraces the inscrutable quality inherent in the medium. On the surface, her photos appear matter of fact, but they often pose as many questions as they answer.


Nathan Lee Bush is a photographer and filmmaker in New York City. His work is on his site and blog.

Tagged with:

One Response

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. […] Glass, I write about the enigmatic quality of still photography, and how editorial photographer Rebecca Greenfield‘s work exemplifies this; I also write up the week’s photo and video events in New York […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: