Thursday, April 26, 2007

The Real and Truthful Characteristics of The Photograph

Camera Lucida really brings up many issues about what does it really mean to be alive or
real.....The book uses so many ideas that give suggestions about photographs and what they
really are as a medium. The book suggests that photographs are more a pose and not so much a concurrence of events. Film is shown to be a better medium than photography because photos get denied by the continuous series of images that film produces as opposed to the single one in a photo. Then there is another main issue with photography and that is that it doesn't "call up the past" (page 82). The portrait of William Casby on page 79 "Born a Slave" does not tell the reader of his journey or his past but just tells us what he is now and consequently what his bleak futrue holds...Death! Another theme brought up about the photograph is its authenticity. The thing about photographs is that if they are not altered with (new technology getting in the way of authenticity) then they are a true representation of themselves. The photograph doesn't lie and tells people where one person is if it is caught on tape. Two quotes I liked from the book to explain these two ideas were: "It does not invent; it is authentication itself" and "Every photograph is a certificate of presence". But the photograph is without a future. The photo only tells of the here and now and has little ability to tell what the future holds. Page 95 has a photo with the heading "He is dead and he is going to die......". This picture tells us little from simply viewing it but the words are what tell us about what is going to happen in the future. Photos can't tell us about the future but the combination of words and a picture can tell us so much about what will happen.



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