Spencer Murphy “The willing suspension of critical engagement: the four looks of photography”

Thanks to Spencer Murphy, Lecturer in Media and Communication at Coventry University for a brilliant talk this morning concerning the four looks of photography/film and the male gaze. To see the short extract from ‘Carrie’ featured in this talk please see the video embeded below the lecture when prompted (NSFW).

The idea of the ‘Four looks’ is something as photographers we have to think about all the time and as it goes on i’m starting to see it all the time without even intentionally looking for it. But it was the intro to Carrie that really made this lecture memorable! Because oh my god was my mind scared for life! I think if it hadn’t been Spencer Murphy’s running commentary through it i may have had a panic attack it was so awkward but a great example of the ‘Male gaze’ because it is something that exists in basically everything we see!

The 3 looks are: Your look, the photographers look and the subjects look.

1)Your look : When we see a picture we recognise it, or identify with it. Because if we didn’t recognise it ,the photo wouldn’t be the same.  For example think of those common photo’s you see all the time? Images of celebrities for example- Photos assume you know what they are about so why explain it? the same applies to images of you typical sunsets and animals ect. So basically your interpretation of a the image how you perceive the photo and the truth you make of it.

2)The photographers look : How the photographer intended the photograph to look, how they perceive the image. 

3)The subjects look :How the photo/subject interprets the photographers instructions in the image being created and how they want to show it. The story they bring to the image by the usages of body language and personality.  

[View the story “Spencer Murphy \”The willing suspension of critical engagement: the four looks of photography\”” on Storify]


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