I Just Want to Take Pictures
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Life is to be lived, savoured and engaged. Photography gives us permission to do that – to stop and simply look at something. As we hurry on with our day, it says, “Wait - over there! Look at that! Look how great that is!” If we stop to consider what we see, the looking may help restore our appreciation for the world around us. Photography, at its beginning, struggled with category; was it science or art, or was it something else? Once named photography – writing with light – we could place the craft among familiar practices of inscription such as writing and drawing. Unlike drawing and other forms of representation, however, as a trace photography constructs a direct and necessary relationship with its referent (its ostensible subject, if you will), creating a new set of questions and experiences. This condition is key to photography’s power, and the reason photography is a principle tool in modern-day story telling, and the culture of information. Why do we take pictures? What is it about photographs that intrigues and seduces us? What does photography have to offer architecture? Each time we take a picture we create a duplicate of experience, a duplicate that will exist unchanged. We create a second stream of existence for ourselves and immortalize a part of us. By doing so, we also give ourselves the opportunity and permission to return to that moment, and all that we associate with it, and to experience it again. The photographs we take and the photographs we see influence our experience. Photographic life is not found within the chaos of the world. It resides in fragments, millions of them, framed, cut off from any context. These pictures present us with evidence of moments, places and events. With them we can navigate the world in silence. And while the camera cannot be denied its objectivity, each photographer has a unique position, a developed opinion, and a personal practice; each photographer chooses what to show, and what to deny. Photographers select evidence to share with the world; as viewers we find our own meanings to the photographs that we see. We see texture, pattern, and forms created in light and shadow. We see a rhythm and episode and form we previously overlooked. When a photograph is successful, when there is some coincidence in the common relationship between photographer and viewer, via the photograph, that photograph becomes a site of experience.
Cite this work
Agata Zuzanna Mancini (2009). I Just Want to Take Pictures. UWSpace. http://hdl.handle.net/10012/4836