Monday, 2 February 2015

Vernacular Photography

According to Wikipedia:
Vernacular photography [1] is the creation of photographs, usually by amateur or unknown photographers both professional and amateur, who take everyday life and common things as subjects.Anon., USA, 1956Snapshot, Kodacolor Print, 5 x 3 ½ ins. (12.5 x 8.5 cm)

What this essentially means is that vernacular photography is something we all do.  Even pictures of seemingly mundane objects and normal family photos are vernacular.  It is known as being "accidental" art.  Vernacular photographs are unintentionally artistic.
Anon., Germany, ca. 1950sSnapshot, Agfa Brovira paper, 3 ¼ x 2 ¼ ins. (8.5 x 6 cm)
Vernacular photographs, all photographs for that matter, when observed "Has been detached from the place and time in which it first made its appearance and preserved" vernacular photographs are all viewed completely out of original context.  Only the person who took the photo knows what else was going around them at that place and time.  Vernacular photography represents the photographers way of seeing since they choose to ignore everything else around them and only focus on that particular thing.

However, the photographers way of seeing is completely different to anyone else's way of seeing.  So although the photographer intended us to see one particular thing, we may actually focus on something else.  For example, seeing the shadow instead of the mother and child.
Anon., USA, ca. 1920sSnapshot, 4 ½ x 2 ¾ ins. (11 x 7 cm)
Vernacular photographs are not often positioned with the rules that we associate with the traditional rules of photography such as the golden ratio or rule of three.

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