Curious Frame - What is Curious Frame?
Issue #48 - 31 May 2022
Where did all the time go? When I began this newsletter in the midst of the pandemic, I had so much time. Forgive me for disappearing.
I hope to be on a somewhat regular schedule again and I imagine that will be about once a month. Thanks for understanding and being there.
Throughout this issue I am presenting you with a number of my multiple exposure street photos. They were created on the spot and in camera. I like how they can create a photo with more depth and layers. Kind of like life. Maybe even like poetry.
Curious Frame exists for you the readers. It is fabulous when people are involved in the dialogue and with so many different opinions about what photography means to us. Let the dialogue continue!
One reader responded to Issue 47 - For better or for worse:
Hi Leanne, How nice of you to provoke me to write about photography! I'm going to talk a little about how I feel about a photographer who started at 14 years old, and had his first photo published in a magazine in 1968. So in 2018 I turned 50 as a professional photographer, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
During this period I worked in several segments of photography, such as architecture, photo journalism and advertising photography, as well as photos of works by plastic artists, reproducing their paintings for catalogs and dissemination.
And now here I am talking to the readers of your Curious Frame! I love this exchange, that's why I'm always exchanging ideas about your photo talks!
Today instead of saying hello, we take a picture! And we immediately post it simultaneously on several photo social networks and they immediately get a million likes!!! Am I talking nonsense?
This happens daily, and that's what I'm going to talk about and ask you who follow Leanne. Do these photos represent or will they ever represent a historical importance in world photography as Cartier Bresson and some others did with their photos?
But while I see very good photos, I see a lot of shit with thousands of likes and sometimes very good photos without any likes or with only dozens of them. Will the culture of the like predominate in the panorama of world photography? Could it be that, as in politics, or in google, you tube and others, will mediocre people with thousands of likes prevail among artists with few likes?
Leanne, I think I'll stop here, I've already created a lot of controversy for just one curious frame number, and if I continue I'll end up getting drunk and writing more nonsense than I've done so far!
I hope to be contributing to photography and to Curious Frame, and of course, everything I wrote, can and should be contested, after all, the truth will always be in freedom of expression and opinions and so I would very much like to hear opinions from other Curious readers Frame!
Hugs from Brazil and the great hope for Ukraine!
Thank you my dear friend in Brazil. I am in total agreement with your rant about the state of photography in the digital world. And, yes, it is always about freedom of expression.
I do hope that others will join in on this debate about photography. That's what Curious Frame is here for. One of the biggest problems with social media aside from the likes, is the lack of dialogue. So often it is more like a monologue. All you need to do is hit reply in your email! Easy peasy.
What is Curious Frame?
In teaching us a new visual code, photographs alter and enlarge our notions of what is worth looking at and what we have a right to observe. They are a grammar and even more importantly, an ethics of seeing. Finally, the most grandiose result of the photographic enterprise is to give us the sense that we can hold the whole world in our heads —— as an anthology of images. Susan Sontag, On Photography.
I started out in photography and writing at about the same time at the age of 12. No matter that what I produced in either wasn’t so good way back then. It’s only through time and life experiences that we get better at the how-to and the content.
Both writing and photography are a creative process. They are a means of communication. When I’m happy with what I’ve created, it’s because it is like poetry. That is to say, there are gaps in the communication where the reader/viewer can interpret it in their own language.
When I am providing workshops, I emphasize that I’m only talking about what I like and my experiences. It’s not about wanting people to take photos like me. I prefer that people find their own voices in expressing themselves. Photography is personal.
As Sontag wrote, photography is like “an anthology of images.” It’s fortunate that we aren’t robots as the images that have meaning for me, may not have meaning for you. We carry around many images in our minds that evoke memories.
I began Curious Frame to compile my thoughts on photography. And I am always thinking about photography, images and words. That is to say, everything about communication. Especially creative communication.
Curious Frame began as a blog back in July 2019. In the very first post, I wrote:
We live in a world that is bombarded with images. Yet we have very few tools or typically time to try and understand what it all means. So my focus is for the most part about the art of photography and attempting to at least posit some interesting questions if I am unable to arrive at a definitive answer to what any of it really means. 6 July 2019.
That is still very much the gist of what Curious Frame is. But, I don't feel that I will ever come to a definitive answer to what it all means. Like the act of shooting, writing about my thoughts on photography is a lifelong passion and one that will not have an end point short of my end of life. There is no pinnacle to reach with hands up exclaiming that you've passed the test.
The first issue of the Curious Frame newsletter was published on 21 October 2020. Right in the middle of the height of the pandemic. Actually, this was just a little introduction to things to come.
You can still read all of the issues of the Curious Frame newsletter. They exist at the above link. I am in the process of rereading them to fine tune and discover the thoughts that were lost in the midst of it all. Always editing writing, photos and life!
In the actual first issue, I wrote about how Photography is a Language. When we learn to speak, it happens over a long period of time and before we utter our first words.
I won't say that it's easy to do this. But it can appear that language is natural. Well, until you try to learn a second language. But the same is not true with images. As far as I know, no dictionary exists. Nor any other references.
Hence, my journey to write about and attempt to understand what it all means. You can see the second issue of Curious Frame and my discussion on Photography is a Language at the link below.
So for now, I'll leave you with some of my thoughts on photography and I hope that it sparks some interest in you about what photography means to you. As always, your comments and suggestions are welcome and all you need to do is reply to this email. Thanks.
If you enjoy reading Curious Frame, you can support my research and writing into my thoughts on photography. But no sweat if you’re unable to contribute. The newsletter is free for everyone. A very very big thanks to those who contributed!
You can also find me at:
My new website. A work in progress.
Personalized walking photo tours and street photography workshops by independent licensed New York City tour guide and photographer Leanne Staples.