yeah, it's glib

So a thought that has been bugging me for a while is this. Photography has a transformative power, in that it is a hard copy of what we see. More then see, it is a copy of what captures out attention. Which is fine and cool, and all that, but the thing is by photographing something, we imply a certain amount of significance to that moment/composition.

The upshot of this is that photography has the power to make the ordinary extraordinary, and the extraordinary ordinary. (yeah, it's glib)

If there is an amazingly brilliant rainbow in Brooklyn one day, the next day you will be able to see 30 pictures of it cropping up in flickr. But when you see the pics, they do nothing for you because its a rainbow show, like the hundreds we have all seen before. Furthermore it is pretty clear why it was photographed- people were like "oh shit look at that! Where’s my camera!" An amazing event becomes very ho-hum through photography.

But if someone photographs a picture of a leaf on the sidewalk, then your attitude completely changes into something else. a very ordinary thing becomes a matter of scrutiny, since it is less clear why it was photographed. color? form? composition? It invites deeper though. By the mere fact it was photographed, you are drawn in to see why this particular shot captured the photographers attention. And afterwards, you remember that leaf photo for much longer then any rainbow or sunset pictures you may have seem.

Concrete wall
Originally uploaded by Jedo.