Mittwoch, 01.02.2023 09:32 Uhr

Photo-Didactics + Mythos Palace Resort

Verantwortlicher Autor: Dr. Bernd Strecker Bad Schönborn, 31.12.2022, 23:19 Uhr
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Mythos Palace Resort, Crete
Mythos Palace Resort, Crete  Bild: Dr. Bernd Strecker

Bad Schönborn [ENA] This project consists of two parts: Firstly, we want to lay down the theoretical basis of our subject matter and then, secondly, there will be a short list of photos as an illustration of what we tried to convey. It is the famous “Mythos Palace Resort” in Crete that served us as a benchmark.

Nowadays, many people take a lot of photos, especially during their holidays. However, doing good photos, or “well-structured” ones, as we will call them henceforth, is not as easy as it seems to be. Here, we want to outline some of the most important aspects of well-structured photos, as we see them. A well-structured photo can be either of a simple or of a highly differentiated format. We call this the “inner set of a photo”. It will consist of one or more individual parts being arranged according to various classical forms, as, for example, horizontal and vertical lines, contrasts of different types (light-shadow; vertical-horizontal etc.), circles, golden section and so forth. There always is a hidden tension among the different parts.

If there is only one element in a well-structured photo, this element is very much influenced by the complete area within the frame of the photo. A great variety of positions has been known. Apart from its central position, there might be a shift of the element into various directions within the frame given. This process, being unexpected, will automatically heighten the tension of the inner set of the photo. Similarly, a very elaborated element may be shown within a well-structured photo. Its complexity could then be broken up into different further well-structured photos belonging together and forming a unit. This way of creating and arranging well-structured photos shall be called “sequence”; it will be further explained, later.

Apart from the inner set, well-structured photos may have a very important additional function. If used successfully, well-structured photos will show the uniqueness and growth of a still greater context, for example, of a fascinating landscape or a newly-constructed, modern complex of houses. Of course, here do exist lots of further examples. As a consequence, there is a great need of special analysis as well as explanation of well-structured photos themselves - on the one hand, plus “their functional design” - on the other.

Summing up, we can say that these two aspects, analysis and explanation, are directed - in the last resort - towards an underlying idea of a “broader framework” by the function of a more or less contained or independent structural process of a photo. Well-structured photos thus become an important role of meaningful explanation, and above all: of a distinct and exact interpretation of those broader frames mentioned.So the degree of complexity of a well-structured photo depends on its intrinsic aim of describing or explaining the broader framework.

In this sense, a well-structured photo alone or a “sequence of it with a similar composition” are necessary for the deeper understanding or knowledge of a broader framework. The first ones are necessary in order to decipher areas of different spots of structural densities within the broader framework itself. Such a sort of broader framework could be, as we hinted above, a newly constructed place of different buildings, or similar ones. When we talk of “a sequence of well-structured photos”, one might perhaps be prone to prefer films as a more lucid alternative being at the same time a more adequate way, or a more precise tool of analysis.

This idea or attitude, however, is inherently controversial. It does not lead us to any positive solution as to the steps we have gone so far. The main reasons for the existence of well-structured photos are the following: 1. As we have already stated at the beginning, our topic here is: didactics of photos, and not of films. 2. Didactically speaking, a film is something completely different from a well-structured photo or its legal derivatives, only to mention the continuous flow of visual items within a film, even in its shortest form.

3. In contrast to that, all elements of a sequence of well-structured photos are, so to speak, individually frozen. Each can be read as an entity in itself. Furthermore, all of the individual well-structured photos in a sequence may be compared with one another. So, possibly, a new sequence of the same elements might arise in the viewer’s mind. This, however, is due to his individual technique of reading and building up his own personal visual context. Of course, potentially, there might already be innumerable well-structured photos according to the unknown reservoir of broader frameworks to be analysed. Here, however, we want to concentrate only on one real example of the outstanding ones mentioned above.

It is a prominent complex of buildings, the Cretan Hotel “Mythos Palace Resort” near Chania in Greece. We arrived there by chance, but have gradually come to realise and appreciate its architectural and touristic capacities. It has to be strongly stated that nearly all guests at Mythos Palace feel very comfortable; exceptions to the rule are normal. This good feeling has something to do, mainly, with the outer appearance of the hotel with its various parts closely and functionally knit together. Naturally, the fine service and the high quality of the meals are responsible as well. Within its boundaries the hotel-complexity is able to create a sort of well-being among the different visitors.

But this positive feeling is more or less a hidden point. The individual guest encompasses and embraces this fantastic atmosphere rather subconsciously. Giving it a real insight, one has to analyse its actual fabric. In our context, Mythos Palace is a prominent example to illustrate at least part of the rather theoretical background which has been developed so far. A certain amount of theory, however, is necessary to explain the high diversity of the subject matter and at the same time to describe the great quality of tools having been admitted so far. Again, the well-structured photo plays an eminent role here. But, unfortunately, at the same time other problems inevitably may arise.

There is no doubt that up to the minute, tens of hundreds of guests have already taken their own individual photos of Mythos Palace, and this mainly because of purely private reasons: Here, people have spent their holidays, have enjoyed outstanding meals and most probably have had interesting talks with newly found friends. Above all, it has been the warm weather in summertime and autumns, the wide surrounding sea, and other fine sorts of convenience, which have permanently been at everybody’s disposal. These excellent circumstances and others are positive in themselves, and, at the same time, they have been and still are important for the presence of so many visitors there.

Surely, this is the main reason, why so many individual photos have been taken. It is a kind of “visual self-determination” of the individual tourist against the background of Mythos Palace. Also, there is no reason connecting any doubts against this sort of feeling. It seems to be quite normal.Nevertheless, we are convinced that something decisive is still missing. Apart from the great number of positive individual sentiments we have mentioned earlier, it is, foremost, the architect’s vision of what Mythos Palace as a leading hotel at the Cretan sea might in fact be, and, especially, how its unique architectural composition has come into real existence.

In this situation, naturally, the ideal way to find out, would be a personal talk with the architect.But this could and would not be the final solution of the actual problem. Even if it were true, what the architect had been telling us, the actual proof of his statements is still non-existing, - but, on the other hand, deeply wished for. - And what about the fact when the architect had already died earlier? Here we are at a very crucial and decisive point. This, by the way, is true and goes for all pieces of art. Primarily, it is only the piece of art itself that counts. Any further information is secondary.

It may perhaps add to a better understanding of a piece of art, but cannot be taken as its basic proof. That means: In our analysis we have to stick to the existing parts of Mythos Palace, and to nothing else. But then, another problem arises. Unfortunately, it has to be made clear that in the vast majority of thousands of photos having been taken of Mythos Palace so far, only a very few can be sorted out as having willingly been aimed at finding anything above the level of personal subjectivity. In our discourse we are following here statistics of various independent institutions. In most cases the prominent gap between subjective experience alone and any sort of objective visual illustration has not been bridged so far.

This, however, has to be done under all conditions, in order to achieve a sort of impartial standing. That is: We have to go on with our analysis and interpretation of the existing parts in order to reach a sound judgement. And here, again, comes in the well-structured photo with its enormous capacities. Each photo is able to portray one or more aspects of the fundamental ideas, or the “broader framework”, that make up Mythos Palace. There is no doubt that the intimate feeling of well-being, which the majority of residents will encounter year after year, is in fact closely linked with the adequate analysis of its various buildings.

To sum up, we have been trying pretty hard to create some sort of an “objective“ understanding of Mythos Palace by creating and using different kinds of well-structured photos together with their sequences. Again, however, as far as pieces of art are concerned, it follows and it is common knowledge that our attempt can only be one way to achieve an adequate solution. Potentially, there are hundreds of alternatives. --- As to the following (part two) there are some well-structured photos as illustration. For a more comprehensive insight we refer to our Gallery “Kreta (11)” – “Kreta (15)”.

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