In re Bazin’s famous page (p. 13), where he referred to the camera as a non-living agent that recreates the world, he said: “For the first time an image of the world is formed automatically, without the creative invention of man.” It may be true that the camera does the recreating but to say that the process is without the creative intervention of man is, to this writer, not perfectly accurate. The angles, the lighting, the lenses choice, and the timing of all these elements are products of the cameraman’s creative intervention which results in the shot. Bazin, who elevated photography as the most significant in what he called “plastic arts,” had only superlative descriptions of its aesthetic and creative powers. Aesthetically, it is superior, according to Bazin, because of its ability to present reality in its most naked condition. Unlike other forms of art, nothing comes between the original subject and the cold lens of the camera. What the camera does is to strip the object of all contextual non-necessities attached to it by time, place and space and lay it bare to the viewer, an experience that is almost impossible in real life. And to Bazin, photography “can surpass art in creative power” which surprisingly implies despite his extolling photography, that he did not classify it as art. Photography is more creative because there is no need for a meticulous combination of tricks to create an object of hallucination, like what surrealist do, but it is a hallucination and at the same time, also a fact.
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