A Photographic Experience

scan of original silver halide negative

I exhibit what I saw, in the moment light and matter recorded it.

Nothing has been retouched; nothing has been computer generated.

On the Ontology of Photography

cover of book the photographer's choice

2015 • 6 x 9 • 116 pp. • 39 illus. • $19.95

ISBN 978-0-9861801-0-1

“Dad, what is a photographer?” My daughter's question forced me to confront one widespread misconception. Photography was born when inventors succeeded in permanently recording the interaction between light and matter; so why does almost everyone in the arts, publishing industry, and education community call a numeric code designed for mutation, a photograph? In The Photographer's Choice I present my answer to this question and to my daughter's.

Digital technology is not responsible for confusion and manipulation; human decisions are accountable for ambiguity. Long before the advent of digital imaging, visual fanatics fostered the mystification of photography with doctored printing. Photography deserves semantic precision; today as in 1839, a photograph must be differentiated from generic terms like "image," "picture," and "print." The Photographer's Choice proposes a definition of the term "photograph" and introduces the term "wish-graph." Once the topic is cleared from misconceptions, this book examines the knowledge that true photographic observations disclose.

The Photographer's Choice confronts more than photographers' choices. This book questions core values in a moment when we are steering into virtual labyrinths with no real cord. Artists, editors, parents and children, photographers, scientists, and teachers face the same choice: reality or an easy denial of it?

On the Press

photograph published by Italian Elle