December 18, 2013 § Leave a comment
I recently have gotten back into photography through some of my Anthropology classes.
Well let me initially offer a word of “get over it” to the skeptics of photography. Every kind of photography from flip-phone to t3i rebel causes a break in the continuity of people going through the motions in life. People that stop to think about the photo they need to take actually begin appreciating the present, and we overcome the limbo between the past and the unknown future.
No, I’m not aiming to be a photographer- I don’t know how to use my camera enough technically for me to appreciate the art that comes out of some people’s visions. Actually the act of taking pictures isn’t even what interests me about photography. I could care less about the actual photo, I want answers to all the questions surrounding the photo and I love what it reveals about the people holding the camera, including myself. I think people always think this is a bit funny when I describe to them this, but studying into the choices that people make when taking pictures ends up revealing more about a person than one would think.
You don’t make a photograph just with a camera. You bring to the act of photography all the pictures you have seen, the books you have read, the music you have heard, and the people you have loved.
Anthropology in Photography: everything about photography is a choice. For example, I have to choose what I think is beautiful. I have to emulate the beauty I am viewing in a way that will make other people believe it is beautiful too. This is impossible considering none of us are born from the same experiences, but it’s a silent challenge all photographers adopt. More than this, I care more about how I perceive “beautiful” after looking through pictures. That word means something different to everyone cross-culturally, and people naturally take different pictures either based on what society tells us is beautiful (reveals the law of the land) or the strange things they find beautiful (a less direct, intimate way to get to know someone). Next time you’re editing a photo, question your cropping (what subject matter is important and needs to be highlighted) or even your choice of filter/ color (does this reveal something about your current mood/general personality). There is a whole lot more to this process, but it’s a really fun one.
For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. Romans 1:20
I think one of my favorite parts of photography is the ability to make my experiences immortal. We live such fast lives that focus more on moments than memories, but photography allows the two to stay connected. That, and it teaches me to focus on all the beauty of life amongst the chaos of circumstance.