Fancy in a darkroom

s181520729350960photo, DC. art, JC

Warning: Super Longform and Repetitive


Photography Typology

Jessie Carveth knows nothing about photography and cameras, nothing about graphic design. She is an artisht like everyone in the world now, taking pictures and using software. 



All photography and art on this site by Jessie Carveth unless noted or vintage. 2018

1. Photo artists use cameras simply to transport snapshots into software programs, where the capture is turned into something artish.

To photo artists, the initial capture exists to be disrupted.


“Whereas architec­tural photographers use special lenses to eliminate perspective distortion—to make parallel lines look parallel—Yankus achieves this effect by digital means.” Paris Review

 Photo artists are interested in “digital means”.



Document photographers aren’t.

It’s the subject that is important in document photography, the equipment: the lens, tripod, “right” (real) lighting.


Unfiltered (document) photography records moments in time, or makes statements. It reports. Document photographers are reporters who aren’t inclined to stray into image editing for the sake of artistry. They want to get the news out.


Here’s document photography from Pope in Philadelphia, 2015, JCarveth
IMG_2858.JPG#nofilter (#onefilter #bw) #documentphotography

Good photography used to require talent. It also used to require money, all the equipment.

The convergence of technology for taking pictures plus software to transform them, and social media platforms for sharing, shattered the wish that professional photography as an art form exists at the same skill level as, for example, painting.

Everyone in the world is a photographer now, taking and making compelling photography and photo art. (More on this here)


Document (unfiltered) is gotten by pushing a button. On a machine.

No-edit photography is admired when the subject, theme or concept, is appealing.

Liking the theme

If a viewer of document photography likes the subject (undressed bodies, war-torn villages, country gardens), or concept (Bored Couples), it doesn’t matter if Dorothea Lang pushed the button or you did. The recent, rapid revolution in technology has made the entire world “equal in photography”.


Instead of editing after the capture, document photographers primarily preprocess. Focal length, fstop—aperture, lens, low light, shutter speed

Most is black and white (that won’t last much longer), dramatic contrast between light/shadow,  and annoying portraits, solemn and grave. Props.  Poses. Tripods. The document photographer’s work is pre-capture preparation of a subject that ends when the button is pressed.

These two types of photography are very different in intention and presentation, the only thing in common is that photography is a machine production.


1. Keep up with photography publications and look for any difference between professional and everybody else, and

2. Watch photography tutorial videos to fully understand that photographers, among all artistic and literary fields and pursuits, have the least consensus about what defines good and bad pictures and process.

In the absence of interest in a subject, fame, film, Fuji, training, tripod, renown, and good journalistic intentions make no impact on a viewer.

The point is that many of us looking at unfiltered document photography imagine we’re admiring artistry when in fact it’s subject or theme, concept, that draws interest.

Bio00032-161x185Imagine that unprocessed, unfiltered, unedited nature photographs are so boring that Viewer X wants to die.

This nitwit, maybe an expert on the paint arts, won’t care that Ansel Adams shot the photo and got fancy in a darkroom instead of on Snapchat. He doesn’t care that Adams is one of the most revered photographers in history. All the guy thinks is, “bleh, no, where is the hurricane photography, you know, like the roller coaster brought down by the hurricane?” He likes flood photography, no matter who took the picture.

shsandyepaCredit EP


Staten Island 

Eggleston, Osinski, Mark, Doisneau, Erwitt, Gay Block, Maier, Mann, very many more, are exceptional, because we like what they shot, their themes.

Here at Jessie Center we love Staten Island. Professional photographer Christine Osinski was also interested. She went there for a shoot. We were so happy.

She walked down the block, pressed the button.

You could have made Staten Island as bare and powerful as Osinski did. Anyone with a camera–phone, Sony, Leica, Fisher-Price–who takes pictures of Staten Island document-style has the very rare talent of loving Staten Island.

Photo: Christine Osinski –Staten Island series67

(Not Bored?)

4. Lilacs/Diane Arbus

X appreciates 1. real lilacs 2. paintings of lilacs 3. inventive photo art that started with lilac snapshot.

Unfiltered photos of lilacs by professional and non-professional alike, no interest. We’re looking for someone who can explain the difference between an unfiltered lilac photo taken by an artforum photographer or the Burpee Seed Catalogue.


photo cr: Burpee Seed Catalogue


Regarding photography, talent has always been confused with subject appeal.

If Diane Arbus had shot #nofilter #mountains, her camera skill wouldn’t have held the interest of those who respond to mountain pics by instantly falling asleep. She is recognized and loved for who and what she chose to photograph. Subject.

We’re trying to envision Arbus, same equipment, photographing flowers and rivers instead.

Trees and tulips by (example) Diane Arbus. Would she have been as acclaimed ?

The document photographer is a presenter of theme. Is there such a thing as a “good eye” anymore? Absolutely unnecessary. That’s what phone cameras and photoshop are for.

5. Black and white used to define superior photography. Imagine promoting the idea that black and white is anything more than two color choices. RGB is a revolution Carveth is so very happy to support.


Here is some gorgeous photo art by photoartist Mark Yankus:

The secret life of buildings


And (Repetitiveness Warning):

Stories About Variations Photography 








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