ON STREET PHOTOGRAPHY and other life changing events


Glancing or Seeing / New Street Agenda

Louvre © Knut Skjærven

Louvre © Knut Skjærven

Phenomenology roams in the background of this workbook. Both as a general orientation and an attitude to life. In some cases, also as a technique.

Phenomenology is first and foremost a method. A method for description.

A fundamental distinction is the distinction between the natural attitude and, what we call, the phenomenological or trancendental attitude.

To get from one to the other you mentally freeze or bracket the moment and dig into it. Just as a photographer is freezing a moment that you later can dig into for analysis and other forms of study.

In the best cases, also for enjoyment and contemplation.

We are going to use the distinction between the two attitudes in New Street Agenda.

Why? Because they are important as tools in making photographs and of the study of them.

The natural attitude is like glancing. The phenomenological attitude is like seeing.

You may glance at an object from a practical point of view while you are busy doing something else.

Seeing, however, demands your attention to what is in front of you. Might be the real world. Might be a photograph.

Seeing is based on a wish to understand visual relations and a visual language. Glancing is not, since is it there for a different reason.

The attitude of the photographer, he or she who draws with light, is one of understanding or wanting to understand visuals. And to use this knowledge in photography. He/she is a seer.

The attitude of the picturetaker is that he or she don’t need to understand visuals or simple lack the ability of understanding them. Nor would he understand how to use them. He/she is a glancer.

By the way, the picture that accompanies this post is an example of Small Coin Photography.  I just thought I would mention it.

French translation (to come).

© Knut Skjærven. All rights reserved. 10/01/14

This is a draft chapter to the workbook New Street Agenda. There is a workshop connected to it: New Street Agenda, Berlin June 12 – 15, 2014. If you are interested, please ask for more information at mail@theuropeans.eu or use the contact form below.

Good luck with it.

This post is in category New Street Agenda.


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This entry was posted on January 10, 2014 by in New Street Agenda, The Workbook and tagged , , , , .

barebones communication

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Street Photographer’s Toolbox

At The Gallery © Knut Skjærven

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Phenomenology And Photography

© Knut Skjærven


© Knut Skjærven

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