PHOTOGRAPHY AS AN ELEGY
by Yuta Namba
Abstract – Photography, like all art, is subjective. Critics view photography to find meaning through the multiple implications they make from the subjects that appear, lighting used, etc. However, photography maintains an objectivity as well in its ability to take a moment out of time itself, a form of elegy. This research paper expands on this idea through examination of two photographs, Eliot Porter’s Red Tree Near Cades Cove, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee and my Man in Nature. Through Susan Sontag’s lens of photography as elegy, I investigate the themes of solitude in nature and isolation from it by analyzing the two photo’s subjects, color, and lighting. I end with a call to action for a reexamination of humanity’s relationship with nature through the photographic medium in an attempt not only to reconnect with the natural world but also to mitigate the effects of climate change.