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The Focus of Ferrater Mora’s Photographs

Although Ferrater Mora insisted that his movies were visual rather than philosophical, he did not bother to insist on the same thing about his photographs, perhaps because it is rather difficult to understand what a philosophical photograph might be. Nevertheless, remembering that philosophers delight in asking what is real and in inquiring about the difference between appearance and reality, one notes that Ferrater often photographed reflections in water, reflections in mirrors, even reflections in eyeglasses so that the photograph contains both an object and an image of the object. In some photographs one can see an image of Ferrater reflected in something as he is taking the photograph. In one photograph a pair of eyeglasses rests on a brightly polished surface so that it is difficult to tell which is the reflection. There are also a number of photographs of store mannequins. Sometimes one cannot tell exactly what one is looking at. One photograph that appears to be nonrepresentational, a design of red and gray, is a photograph taken through the partially snow obscured windshield of a red car. Other photographs turn out to be close ups, sometimes of a common object that we do not immediately recognize, such as an ashtray.

Donald Heintzelman, who is himself a professional photographer, noted that many of Ferrater's photographs, whether of buildings, objects, even leaves and flowers, reveal a characteristic emphasis on the "geometry" of the object.

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