Reflections On Photography Roland Barthes Analysis

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Reflections on Photography
Roland Barthes (1915-80) was a French theorist and philosopher. Camera Lucida Reflections on Photography was his last book published in 1979. This book mainly circulates around the theme of understanding desire and nature of photography. He described that what makes it distinguished it from other arts? What are its benefits and liabilities? He did not focused on the formal aspects (composition) or social uses of the photograph but in actual his intent is on ontological one. His intent was to learn that what photography is in it true meaning and what are the characteristics that distinguished it from various other set of images. In the beginning he classifies the photographs in following variations.
• Empirical…….Professionals,
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Such a unique blend makes camera Lucida worth reading. It must be considered as a great piece of intellect.
Barthes develops twin concept in his book; studium and punctum.
Studium denotes the cultural, linguistics and political interpretation of the photograph. Basically studium is the element that creates the interest of Barthes in a photographic image. He perceived them as political and sometimes enjoys the historical scenes. According to Barthes stadium is an education that help him to study the operator and the spectator who perceive it in a reverse direction. The photograph is the intention of the photographer but the spectators experience it in an opposite way. They see the photograph and try to interpret it.
“The stadium is a kind of education (knowledge and civility, “politeness”) which allow me to discover the operator, to experience the intentions which establish and animate his practices, but to experience them “in reverse” according to my will as a spectator”.{1} p.28
Culture is an important subtext within studium. Culture ‘is a connection between creators and consumers. Cultural background is important in the way ideas travel between photographer and
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There may be a chance that they both analyse it in a different way.
Barthes considers journalistic photographs as good examples of stadium. He look and them but unable to recall them. It is a matter of liking not loving. “ The stadium is of the order of liking, not of loving: it mobilizes a half desire, a demi violation: it is the same sort of vague, slippery, irresponsible interest one takes in the people, the entertainments, the books, the clothes one finds “all right”.{1}

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