Thoughts on Photography

In viewing photos online at Flickr and I am always amazed and ever so grateful for those that take the time to photograph the celebrations, the environment and the history of where they live or the places they have visited.  The beauty and art developed via film never ceases to amaze me.

If it were not for photos, I would never see the beauty of France or Egypt or Greece and places that I otherwise never dreamed I might visit.  Photos have a way of fulfilling some level of our dreams and curiosities.

  1. When we want to visit a country and have no idea where to start, photos help us make that determination.
  2. When budgets or time prevent us from making a long journey to the other side of the world, photos can bring the place of our desire to our computer desktop, in the comfort of our home.
  3. Photos do participate in the shape of our world.  Without them, would we know what was happening in another part of the world as quickly as we do, today?  Could you visualize a tropical beach if you had never seen one?  Through a verbal explanation and some imagination you could.

Photography has been around for a long time and thanks to our ancestors, we have glimpses of their lives saved in our genealogical archives, whether personal or displayed in museums.

Many of us photograph as a hobby; some make a living as professional photographers; and many of us photograph for the family memories or the pocketbook picture cache of baby and grandchildren known as ‘brag books.’  The traditional photo album has been replaced by picture scrap booking where glitter and glam can be added to the photo book pages to further enhance the story behind the photo.

What intrigues us to photograph?  Why are we enticed to take snapshots of our vacations, childhood birthdays, holidays, pets, sunsets, sunrises, flowers, oceans, lakes, streams, fields, old barns, new houses, our first car, a teacher, and more?  Is it because we love to share our memories with others and there’s no better way, shy being there first hand?

Undoubtedly, photographs connect us with the world.  Many of us can attest to sharing photographs via email and world wide web photo sharing services since the creation of digital cameras, computers, CD’s and smart cards.  What a wonderful technological advance for imagery.

When you’re driving down a country road, you see a beautiful landscape and comment how pretty that old barn looks in the center of what is now a field of wild flowers, and against that beautiful blue sky.  Darn!  Did you forget the camera?  Why do you desire to capture that scene on film when you have the beautiful memory of being ‘in it’ for the moment. 

I’m not saying that we should be grateful for ‘that moment,’ but rather questioning why we are moved to saving it.

Photography is an art form and can be mastered by anyone.  All photos carry expressions of art whether they were taken with art in mind or not.  They express human interaction with nature and the people around them.  Photography captures smiles, frowns, space nebula, planets; and offers a wealth of information in crime scene investigations.

What would we do without it?  We know what our ancestors did.  They painted, carved and built their visions.  Some of the world’s most profound and creative painted art originated before the era of photography.

Just food for thought.

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