Sunday, March 08, 2009

"Gordon Parks"
Voices in the Mirror

Gordon Parks - "Another significant realization had taken hold - a good documentary photographer's work has as much to do with his heart as it does with his eye. The smoke from those bonfires in Washington gave off some more signals about using the camera to serve a humane purpose. I had learned that it can lie; that not only was it capable of being untruthful, but also that it could be Machiavellian. It all depended on how its users chose to see things. They could wait for a pleasant smile or a frown to cover their subject's face before tripping the shutter. With deliberate intent, an extremely low angle could change a comely face into one of ugliness, and the most righteous human being could be made to look evil. What individuals actually stand for, good or bad, now urges me to try to catch the truth of them. I learned to use the camera as a means of persuasion as long as that persuasiveness is conducted with a sense of fair play. Yet, I remained aware of the possibility that what may appear as truth to me may not be acceptable as truth to others. That's the way things are." (p.87)