Writing on photography

About Disphotic

Disphotic is a blog about photography’s many forms and uses, from the mass vision of citizen journalism to the unseeing vision of internet search engines. Disphotic is run by Lewis Bush, a photographer, writer/researchersometime curator, and lecturer in photojournalism and documentary photography at London College of Communication, University of the Arts London.

You can read a biography here and contact me here.

The word ‘Disphotic’ from the Greek dis- (apart, lacking) and photic (light) is an archaic oceanographic term referring to a layer of the ocean lying between the ‘euphotic’ or well lit and ‘aphotic’ or unlit reaches of the sea. Starting at around two hundred metres below sea level, the depth of the disphotic zone means little sunlight penetrates, resulting in a state of permanent twilight or half-light.

I adopted it as a name because it seemed like an apt metaphor for my experiences of reading about photography. As a field it seemed often poorly illuminated or explained by practitioners, who often seemed to rely instead on specialist writers, theorists and critics to examine and interpret what they do. Those writers in turn often seemed to write largely for their own kind, obscuring important debates in language which ended up alienating the very photographers who had the most to gain from them. To both make photographs and critically examine them, as I try to do, is to be regarded as something of an oddity. Over time Disphotic has also become about trying to shed some light on the world of photography, in particular the byzantine, contradictory, and sometimes corrupt ways in which people and institutions within it behave. In that sense Disphotic is a continuation of my photographic practice which is focused on the use and abuse of power.

You can read Disphotic’s transparency and copyright policies here.

Writing on photography