Section 9: The adventure of the Nicaraguan photo is from the "co-presence of two discontinuous elements, heterogeneous in that they did not belong to the same world ...: the soldiers and the nuns." (23) But the characteristic doesn't seem to translate to other photos by the same photographer (Koen Wessing).
I should mention here, completely off-topic: I'm listening to Bats for Lashes' album Twin Suns while typing this. That's all.
Section 10: Two elements whose co-present establish adventure:
1) the field of general interest for the observer--"studium"--"a kind of general, enthusiastic commitments, ... but without special acuity." (26)
2) "this element which rises from the scene, shoots out of it like an arrow, and pierces me."--"punctum" (26) He calls this a "sting, speck, cut, little hole. ... that accident which pricks me." (27)
These are central ideas from Camera Lucida; we will hear much more about these things throughout the book.
Section 11: He makes a judgment about many photos here, how they please (or displease) him without "pricking" him. (27) "The studium is of the order of liking, not of loving." (27) It is about understanding the intentions of the author, he claims. This is a particularly strange claim for Barthes to make, considering his views on authorial intention elsewhere.
Why does Barthes call the Photograph "dangerous"? (28)
Here he also lists the functions of photography: "to inform, to represent, to surprise, to cause to signify, to provoke desire." (28) He goes on to discuss these five functions in this order in the next five sections of the text.
Section 12: Here, Barthes shows how a photograph can inform, "to accede to an infra-knowledge." (30)
Section 13: Right at the start of this section, Barthes enters into the controversy as to who created photography and, of course, sides with the French. He also makes a definite link between photography and its parent, painting (because of framing and perspective). But then, he makes the link with theatre, because of Death ("however 'lifelike' we strive to make it ..."). (31)
Photography is a kind of primitive theatre, ... a figuration of the motionless and made-up face beneath which we see the dead. (32)
Section 14: Here, Barthes admits his failings in terms of being the "operator" of cameras. And it seems that he is being a little bit sarcastic (or mean) toward the photographer, suggesting the he or she is only after surprise (he calls this "the essential gesture of the Operator"). (32)
1) The first surprise, for Barthes, in the "rare referent."
2) The second is the ability to apprehend the gesture, to stop time.
3) The third is what he calls "prowess," the ability to see, for instance, the explosion of a drop of milk.
4) The fourth surprise is the "contortion of technique," playing with the technology of photography. (33)
5) And, finally, the fifth type is the "lucky find" of a whimsical, but natural, scene.
Barthes does not speak highly of these "surprising" photographs (at least, that is the sense I have).
Section 15: This is a difficult section on meaning in photographs, and portraiture in particular (remember that this section explores the function, "to cause to signify," above). What he does suggest is that "the semiology of Photography is ... limited to the admirable performances of several portraitists." (38) I what he calls "good photographs," the "object speaks" (at least). (38)
Section 16: Have you ever wanted to live in a photograph? Which one, and why?
For Barthes, this is a requirement: "landscape ... must be habitable, not [only] visitable." (38) He speaks here of a powerful notion of "home" (a notion that, for Barthes, evokes the Mother--this foreshadows his thought further in the book regarding his actual mother, and the obvious safety he felt with her, "a utopian time"). (40)
All, feel free to comment, post, enter into dialogue (especially P.W.).