Visual Study essay

Chapter Three

Comment: The author brings out crucial aspects regarding theidea of photography and issues that relate to the subject and theobserver taking the pictures. The author illustrates the concept ofvision explaining it as an “irreducible complex of elements thatbelong to the observer’s body and data from an exterior world”The author further states the role of color as being the primaryfactor when it comes to the vision the observer is taking a look.Further, the author illustrates the idea of vision and how it differsfrom a conventional objective world. Through insights presented bythe author, I have gained the knowledge of understanding thevariation that would exist between an observer and the subject.

Analysis: I like the part that illustrates young ArthurSchopenhauer’s decision to send Goethe a copy of the manuscriptthat challenged his initial concept if vision. The decision forArthur to abandon Goethe’s classification of colors regardingphysiological, chemical and physical aspects is a reflection of adifferent perspective one can view the issue of photography. Goethetakes a position regarding objectivity about color and the concept ofthe human body. Contributions by both individuals regardingphotography are a significant takeaway.

Chapter Four

Pictures: The pictures bring out crucial aspects when it comesto the message the author is trying to illustrate. For example, apicture on page 81 showing a drawing by Nicolas-Henri Jacobindicating the removal of an eye further serves to pass the messageregarding vision and the concept of subjectivity. On page 88, thereis the picture showing light waves and its interference could be areflection of the idea of the significance of optics regardingphotography.

Question: I imagine if it is possible to employ Goethe’stheory in the current world defined by technology to enhance thequality of pictures. (Page 88 para 2).


Crary, J. (1992).Techniques of the observer: on vision and modernity in thenineteenth century.

mit Press.