Secrets and Lies about Photography

copyright calvin burgamy

My photographs are like someone else’s sketchbooks.  They are supposed to be ideas, quick remembrances that lead to bigger more sharply defined projects. But they hardly ever get there. A couple of exceptions: graffiti, Migrant Mother.  And of course the “sketchbook” itself.

I’m working on a paper that is supposed to compare Robert Frank’s “The Americans” to some other photographers anthology.  I think I’ve settled on comparing his book to Emmet Gowin’s “Photographs”.  They are two distinctly different books. One is about the American family and one is about a family.  Each book is personal and bears the photographer’s unique stamp. Each photographer is an “outsider”.  Frank is Swiss, a visitor.  Gowin is an outsider. He photographed his in-laws in Danville, Va.