Differences Between Painting And Photography In Terms Of Psychological Responses According To Bazin Article Review Examples
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Is Bazin right to explain the difference between painting and photography in terms of the psychological response we have to each kind of picture?
Bazin is right to explain the difference between painting and photography in terms of psychological response because these responses truly differ depending on the subject and representation of images in paintings and photographs. Paintings evoke psychological responses that relate to the appreciation of the arts, while photographs evoke psychological responses linked to the viewer’s opinion or feeling about the image captured in the photo. When we see two portraits for instance, one a painting and the other a photograph, we know that the photograph was taken as is but we are not certain if the subject really sat down for the artist or if the artist merely painted a portrait based on his or her personal view or interpretation.
Based on personal experience, there may be similarities in the way that we view paintings and photographs. For instance, when we view paintings and photographs, we respond to it based on the story behind these works. Nonetheless, the overall psychological response still differs, particularly in the way that we perceive paintings or photographs as representations of reality. When we see paintings, for instance, we view them as art so we respond to them appreciating or valuing their artistic qualities, relevance to history, and the artist’s background. On the other hand, when we view photographs, we instantly relate them to real events and stories. We appreciate or value photographs based on the scope of its representation of reality (i.e. an image of the moon vs. a close-up image of the moon and its geographical features).
Bazin further argued for the difference between painting and photography by saying that photographs satisfies people’s deep-seated need for truth, realism, and the preservation of and substitute for reality.
Why does Bazin think that photography and film are properly realistic, while realism in painting was based on a confusion?
Bazin believes that photography and film are properly realistic compared to realist paintings because the former are true representations of the images they represent. Realist paintings, on the other hand, are merely subjective or symbolic representations of images. For Bazin, the most important feature or aspect of realist images is resemblance. Photographs and films resemble the realities they represent because they are shot or filmed as is. On the contrary, the appearance of paintings largely depend on the interpretation of the artist. Although paintings may be based on realities or real images, they are not exact representations of these realities.
Realism in painting is driven by two objectives – the realistic portrayal of the world and the symbolic representation of these realities. According to Bazin, the aforementioned objectives of realism clearly disregard the true meaning of realism. Bazin said that both objectives contradict one another because the first objective aims for a realistic portrayal of images while the second object accepts a stylistic representation of reality. Furthermore, Bazin argued that despite the objective of realism in painting to represent reality, this form of art does not represent reality unlike photographs or films because the finished work depends on the artist’s skills and techniques. While photographers and filmmakers capture images or scenes as is and as they happen, artists apply their own skills and techniques to portray images. In painting, it is up to the artist to represent images based on his or her intention. In some instances, the artist makes adjustments in the image to follow aesthetic standards instead of portraying images as is. Within this context, Bazin argued that realism does not exist in painting when compared to photographs and films.
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