In my self-directed photography studies I find much overlap between photographic concepts & poetic concepts. I make notes as I read:
Photographer Robert Frank said that when people looked at his photographs he wanted them “to feel the way they do when they read a line of a poem twice”. I think there must be some fundamental link between photography & poetry. After all they are both a type of image making.
The etymological meaning of the word poetry is “something fashioned or made” which seems to me to be exactly what a photograph is as well. Richard Avedon said; “All photographs are accurate. None of them is the truth.”
When you freeze a moment, either in words or pictures, you make it into something unto itself. It’s not life but it’s also not not life. A simulacrum of being?
Perhaps poetry was the first kind of photography—before the camera existed. Suspending moments in blank air.
We make a poem to understand what words can do. We make a picture for the same reason. “I photograph to find out what something will look like photographed.” - Garry Winogrand.
“I see poetry as the medium most similar to photography… or at least the photography I pursue. Like poetry, photography is rarely successful with narrative. What is essential is the ‘voice’ (or ‘eye’) & the way this voice pieces together fragments to make something tenuously whole & beautiful.” - Alec Soth