Szarkowski’s Mirrors and Windows thesis is how two distinguish artists’ Minor White and Robert Frank and different they approach to take a picture. White intention is for a goal of expression and Frank intention is for a goal of exploration. The self-expression is for feelings and mood. The exploration is more about the evidence of what is really out there.
The first image is a window image that Szarkowski’s Mirrors and Windows thesis as a realist Winogrand look for the goal of exploration. Some visual element are eye-level, shallow depth the field, low contrast. This photo describe lonely place as it looks the middle of nowhere.
In the Gregory Crewdson photo there’s a guy in his undergarments and lady in front him though this photo is on a set. The photo was probably saying people expose have nothing to hide with security and those who to tell the truth or hide something don’t feel secure.
Szarkowski used the terms “Mirrors” and “Windows” to describe the two different ways of perception towards a photo. A photo can be seen as a “Mirror” if it conveys the photographer’s intention and idea through which the viewers get the notion of what the photographer wants to say. In the other hand, the term ” Window” is used when a photo is more about providing a reality of the outside world that one can take in.
Apply those conceptions to the two photos by Crewdson and Winogrand, we will be able to conclude that Albuquerque is an example of a “Window” while Daughter is a “Mirror”. Taken randomly with no setting, Winogrand’s photo renders a real picture, or a reality in which the viewers will have different feelings towards. One can say the image of the two children playing in a seemingly remote land evokes the loneliness while another one might look at it as an ideal picture of the American Dream. On the other hand, Daughter of Crewdson tells a different story with character portrays, location and lighting that bring up specific feelings of drama and shame.
Szarkorwski states that mirrors and windows are metaphorically represented as in things we see in and how feel about it. For example, a photograph can be seen as a window as it acts like a portal to the exterior world which is the reality and that you get to explore what’s it out there. While mirrors, a type of romantic expression that shows one’s reflective emotions; an implanted emotion that the photographer created to let viewers see what he wanted them to see and feel.
Crewdson’s photograph is shown as a mirror, the type of emotion is being manipulated; setting, and actors are chosen and placed in way to create the type of atmosphere and one’s desire emotion. Like the daughter who is emotionally ashamed because she’s shown standing outside at night, alone, wearing almost nothing but her underclothes, and her mom is shocked by her as one her shopping bags is on the ground. The photo is in color, has a high contrast, and sharp overall to emphasize one’s moment or a scene.
Winogrand’s photograph is shown as a window, a realistic place that is not in any way fabricated. The photo does not have a lot of shadows since it has low contrast and diffused lighting. Also, it’s shown like a recorded documentary of a real event that is happening in the world. Unlike Crewdson’s photo, Winogrand tells the story of a real life family who isolated themselves away from the community to be in a sub-urban place.
Szarkowski uses a metaphor of mirrors and windows, in the above images. Mirrors meaning it is planned and windows is reality. Crewdson photo is a mirror photo. The reason it is a mirror image, is because he was in control of taking this shot. Meaning that he planned it the lighting,the people, the setting, the fact that there groceries on the floor, mom wearing a coat yet daughter not as much clothes.This scene is a night scene we can see that the daughter is looking down at the mother, where there is no high contracts but low contracts making a very big impact in this images feeling and gives us a sense that this image was shot in a community area because of the houses next to each other. This image is an example of extensive depth of field, where everything is in sharp nothing is out of focus. However Winogrand images is a window photo. The reason for this, is because there was no planning. The feel of this images is kinda lonely, we see a child looks like he or she is about to run out, the background looks very dull empty. The garage is low key not enough light and outside we have direct light from the sun hitting the floor. This image to me has more emotion because it shows reality, I might not know the story but just looking at the baby walking out alone living in an area where there much people the only light is the sun and mountains are seen from afar. It has a range of lighting tones and it has a feeling of depth between the house and nature. The black and white pictures focus our attention to the baby because of the light directing to her.
State Szarkowski’s is saying that image can be consider as mirror or window. If the image is consider to be mirror, it’s basically saying that the image consider to have some sort of underlying meaning that can be reflected to the viewers for interpretation. For image that is consider to be window, it’s basically more direct and clear to the viewers.
The one by Gary Winogard can be consider as a window image because the meaning is more direct and the story is more clear. While the one by Gregory Crewdson is a mirror because as a viewer, we don’t immediately understand what’s the meaning of the photo. Everyone has their own take on it.
Both images can be consider taken at a eye level angel. The one by Winogard, it has more higher contrast than the one by Crewdson because the one by Winogard show more differences of what’s dark and whats light. So the one by Crewdson is to be consider as a low contrast photography. In terms of lighting, the one by Winogard is more of the direct lighting because of the harsh shadow that is being cast from the bicycle and the cactus/plant. The one by Crewdson is more of the front light.
a window is what is being shown to us with a deeper meaning while a mirror would expose and express of what it is trying to show. Gregory Crewdson’s photo is considered a mirror because the photographer is expressing his idea and he has total control of how he wanted to be: the expression on the actors’ faces, the background of the photo, the placement of the actors and the car. His photo has a high contrast shown on the car, sidelit is also shown in this photo based on the position of the camera to the subject, the image seems to be sharper as well, full scale of tones in this photo and silhouette in the background.
In Gary Winogrand’s photo is a window because he’s still learning and discovering new things and this can not be control. The baby in the photo is freely roaming in the driveway with his brother watching over him. The environment in the background is cloudy with a chance of rain with a lot of sunlight. This photo has direct light as shown on the wild plant on the right, a mixture of high and low keys, the image has a soft focus with deep space showing the extending area of the desert, there is high contrast in this image with a balance of black and white and in between.
John Szarkowski’s believed in the Mirrors and Windows style, in which the Mirror style mirrors back what the photographer is feeling or what they wanted you to feel. As for the Windows style, is more of reality and how day to day life is all about. The photograpgh on the left shows the mirror style because the whole scene is set up to show a specific emotion, from the lighting and angle, you can get the feeling of a movie scene. Now the photograph on the right is in the open and the shadows of the clouds make it seem like a cloudy day and the field looks dry. In this photograph there is nothing planed out, but more of a in the moment shot, showing reality.
Mirror I consider is a photograph that reflects something that the artist wants to express such as emotions, feelings or something in particular. Window would be something that shows what is out there, what surrounds us such as a town, landscape, something that happens in our daily life. Gary Winogrand’s photograph is the window and Gregory Crewdson’s photograph is the mirror. The mirror image you can tell that is setup it is all arranged and this gives us the idea that the artist wants to show and tell something, a story, a feeling. The window image is showing a kid just walking out of the garage something very common, a reality.
Winograd’s photograph is at a low level angle, deep space (creates some perspective) , sharp overall,has extensive depth of field, diffused lighting and is high contrast. Crewdson’s photograph is at eye level angle, deep space, sharp focused, side light, and extensive depth of field, you can see the distance between nearest and farthest sharp areas.
Szarkowski’s Mirrors and Windows thesis in my own words mean that there are multiple ways of interpretation, but also how photos are created.
I consider both could be windows. The 2nd image with the daughter i believe can be seen as a window because, who knows if this situation might have happened to someone else, or to at least very similar to it so it could be window. I also believe that it can be considered a mirror too. This photo also displays personal emotion displayed by the models inside of the set. With all of the pre chosen lighting and props that went along with it.
The 1st photo, the one with the shot of desert Suburbia is very likely a window view. There is no alteration to the image, nothing staged, and it just happened. Which makes it more of a mirror than the second image. Also the 1st image has a very high tones especially with the baby who is playing by the garage which is a very high contrast area compared to the 2nd image.
The depth of field for both images are very close in to extensive view. The viewpoint of both images are close to eye level but drifts slightly to higher and little below. The 1st image has more negative space than the second one. Due to the second image being set up for the particular shot, unlike the first image which was shot on the fly.
So that is my opinion on the two images displayed.
john szarkowski, expressed in his paper the two different styles of white and frank. That one favored self-expression through his work as a mirror of his life to show a glimpse of himself in his piece. The other favored realism taking photography just to show how the real world is without ad ons, simply expressing how the world is opening a window to reality.