Lets Get Metaphysical
There are people who view photography as simply a means of capturing a moment in time. And further still, there are those who insist that a photo remain unaltered, as if a camera magically captures exactly what the photographer’s eye saw.
Perhaps these notions are born from a reluctance to accept photography as an art form. Or perhaps it is simply a general lack of appreciate and understanding of art itself. While these may be factors, I think it goes beyond that to how we’ve been taught to see reality.
For most people, reality is a persistent straight line running from the past, through the present towards the future with everyone on that same path. But I think what we are discovering is that reality, much like Einstein’s laws of physics, is relative. And in fact the line of reality is not a single line, but many kinda-sorta parallel lines that move in incongruous waves that sometimes intersect and cross over each other. Consider this.
If I, as a photographer, take a picture of someone or something that you have never seen before and likely will never see in person, at a time when you were physically somewhere else and had no way of knowing that I was snapping this photo, in a place that you have never nor will ever go to, whose reality is that a photo of? The viewer was never an active participant in that reality and is, in fact, simply a viewer after the fact. Further, the viewer may assume that the rules of perception of that foreign reality are the same as they are familiar with, but there is no guarantee of that really.
So if we all live in similar, somewhat parallel realities, who is to say what capturing an unaltered moment in time really is?
So what is the point of this essay then? Other than to mess with your overly comfortable acceptance of your own reality as the one true one. The point is that sometimes it is less important to understand the reality of a moment in time as it is to understand and appreciate the significance of that moment and make it an influential part of your own reality.
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