Snapshot poetics

In exploring the vernacular of cheap cameras/ snapshot images I decided it would be beneficial to read ‘Snapshot Poetics’,  a collection of photographs taken by Aleen Ginsberg between 1953 and 1991. Although I am not making snapshots per se, I do want to use the visual styling of snapshots in order to add a sense of reality to my dictional story images, with the hope this styling will make the project relatable to my audience. So i’m reading this book with one question in mind. Is it the candid nature that make these images so intimate and true to life?



The images tell the story of one of the first rebellious subcultures in America, the beat generation. After the horror of WWII and the cold war Ginsberg and other creatives took to writing poems about the hopeless culture they lived in. After a while the became nomadic, refusing to be part of American culture they were always on the move. The images in this book are taken by one of the founders of the beat generation and poem writer Ginsberg, this book is a collection of the beat generations travels.

photo 1 photo 2 photo 3 photo 4 photo 5


There is something beautiful about the snapshot, perhaps it’s because we all have our own set we can easily relate to other peoples. I am stil in the generation that used film cameras as a child, perhaps this memory isn’t there for the younger generation, I suppose it has been replaces by the camera phone used to snap those unplanned moments. One thing I really ant to utilise in this project is the grain of the film, there is something comforting about it, adding warmth and familiarity to the images. Using digital we get noise and it is regarded as a negative thing, but is embraced when using film.

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