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Old 11-14-2004, 11:53 PM
digi-mom digi-mom is offline
TE Junior Member
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 487
Default Re: Photography & reality III

I remember a photo project studied in communications classes about perception and understanding, which you may have seen before. In the B&W photo, there are two groups of young people facing one another. One group has darker skin. The photo has been presented to numerous groups and studies and the participants are to relate, later, what they saw. Their perceptions and realities are not only based on what the photographer gave them, but on those things which they have grown up with and learned to see in their lives. Some people see school kids talking, some see a street fight and even imagine knives and hateful glares. Personally, I don't remember what the photo "really was" now, but the lesson I think is part of the answer to your questions.

Reality is what each person makes of it. To some, love does not exist. To others, India or America does not exist. Some people see miracles happen, and others do not. You might as well ask someone if there is an absolute reality, about which some people can be correct and others are mistaken about. No one person can ever be absolutely right about what reality is, because everyone sees it a little differently, based on upbringing and later thoughts.

How does this apply to photography? Well, you may think it's a photo of a shoe - what about the kid from Papua New Gunea who has never seen one? It may be a photo that is obviously about love, but someone else sees a silent argument. A photo cannot capture all of what a photographer wants because not everyone thinks as he does.

I think there are pretty good subjects, and some pretty good photographers, but not one can be absolutely understood in just one way.

Just read the interpretations and opinions in TE critiques...
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