Download The command to look, a formula for picture success by William Mortensen. PDF

By William Mortensen.

The Command to Look was once one in all William Mortensen's such a lot influential and sought-after books, and has been out of print for 50 years. Reproduced right here in complete, this booklet contains an essay by way of Michael Moynihan on how its photographs inspired the occult "lesser magic" of the founding father of the Church of devil, Anton Szandor LaVey.

The booklet reproduces fifty-five photos of Mortensen's top paintings and textual content by way of the wittiest and so much biting writers on images in their time.

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To appreciate Mortensen’s proper place in the history of photography, it is necessary to explore the underlying ideas that inspired his preternatural imagery. Mortensen laid out the basics of his technical and philosophical approach to “picture-making” in a seminal 1934 essay2 and in his first four books on methods—Projection Control (1934), Pictorial Lighting (1935), Monsters & Madonnas (1936) and The Model (1937). But it is his fifth and most compact book, The Command to Look (1937), with its innovative application of psychology to photography, that serves as the real master key for unlocking the secrets of William Mortensen’s singular vision.

Is it because he makes his living after this fashion? No doubt; but there is still more to it than this. Here is the third reason. It is a very significant reason, though it is generally disregarded. The artist persists in being an artist because he revels in the feeling that he may affect or influence people by his work. He does not demand approbation, but he does demand notice and response. The thought that he may through his work influence people and strike past their defenses to their secret emotions gives him a gratifying sense of power.

Chun and Jeremy M. Wolfe, “Visual Attention,” in Blackwell Handbook of Sensation & Perception, ed. E. Bruce Goldstein (Oxford: Blackwell, 2005), 272–310. 15 Aprajita Mohanty and Tamara J. Sussman, “Top-down modulation of attention by emotion,” Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 7 (2013), article 102. , “Recognizing Threat: A Simple Geometric Shape Activates Neural Circuitry for Threat Detection,” Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience 21:8 (August 2009), 1523–35. 17 In many cases he ignored this principle himself, for example when he costumed his models to look like historical or particularly as Renaissance figures, thus placing them in a definite time period.

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