Project 3 Surface and depth

Research point – Campany and Colberg

Read the reviews by Campany and Colberg and, if you haven’t already done so, use them to begin the contextual section of your learning log. Try to pick out the key points made by each writer. write about 300 words.
If you wish you could add a screen grab of an image from Ruff’s jpeg series, and one or two of your own compressed jpegs (taken on auto mode of course!). You can achieve the effect quite easily by resizing a photograph to say, 180 x 270 pixels, and saving at ‘zero quality’ compression. If you use Photoshop’s ‘save for web’ you can see the effect immediately without having to save, close and reopen the file.

Having read both reviews I found David Campany’s article to be a ‘truer’ review. In the article by Colberg I felt as though it was more of a book review (Which evidently from looking at the bottom of the page it was). There were links embedded which took you to the book on Amazon (Two conflicting reviews on Amazon I might add) as well as credit given to the producers of the book. I also noticed a link to Colberg’s blog, the link didn’t work but I was able to look the blog post up using the Wayback Machine. Interestingly he wrote the blog only 11 days before this review and it has a very different tone. In the article he states

‘I had been looking forward to the publication of Jpegs ever since I first heard about it, since I had a hunch. As it turns out my hunch was correct: Ruff’s jpegs work amazingly well in book form.’

He had even cited Ruff as one of the most creative and inventive photographers of our time. However in his blog post just 11 days prior Colberg says

‘I thought it was a very interesting idea, visually very intriguing, but I also had the nagging feeling that the whole series maybe didn’t contain much beyond the basic idea itself’.

He goes on to say

‘I thought the whole idea had turned into some sort of shtick (Or gimmick if you prefer that word)’

He also says

‘Once you’ve seen that, you have, well, seen it. Time to move on.’

Campany’s article explores the idea behind the images, the way it explores our digital world and how photography has evolved. It mentions digital re-archiving and the internet and explores the concept that Ruff was trying to portray. We live in a digital age and a photo heavy age where images are taken on a whim and stored somewhere forever more. The authenticity of a photograph and the grain of an image are becoming redundant and images are now merely a collection of squares computer engineered to make up a whole. Ruffs work to me seems to show the image not only as the squares but if viewed from a distance the ‘bigger picture’. Campany remains objective throughout his review and even adds a note to suggest that the work is better experienced as printed matter yet does not impose his own personal response.

These are two of my images which I have resized and saved at zero quality compression, For the image of the orange I have shown it in both forms. The top image of the orange is resized with zero quality compression and the bottom image is in its ‘normal’ view to give a comparison.

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