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Developing AnimalsWildlife and Early American Photography$
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Matthew Brower

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780816654789

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816654789.001.0001

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The Photographic Blind

The Photographic Blind

Chapter:
(p.83) Chapter 3 The Photographic Blind
Source:
Developing Animals
Author(s):

Matthew Brower

Publisher:
University of Minnesota Press
DOI:10.5749/minnesota/9780816654789.003.0003

This chapter examines the development of the photographic blind as a technology for photographing animals in the years 1890–1910. The photographic blind is an enclosure that obscures the photographer’s presence, assisting in the capture of animal imagery. The chapter tracks the changing representational and discursive effects of the blind as it moves from a hunting technique adapted to animal photography to its emergence as a paradigm for human-animal relations and mode of spectatorship. It reads the blind as an inverse panopticon. Rather than inducing the observed to internalize the disciplinary effects of observation, the photographic blind induces the observer to externalize their relation to the observed by fostering in the observer a state of conscious and permanent invisibility. Positing the blind as a mode of disciplinary spectatorship, the chapter argues that the development of the photographic blind is at the basis of the conception of animals at work in wildlife photography.

Keywords:   animal photographs, animal photography, wildlife photography, photographic blind, hunting technique

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