According to Vilém Flusser, there is a big discrepancy between those who believe pictures show the world exactly how it is and those who don’t. Although I do consider my eyes naïve to the art of photography, I personally believe that some photographs do aim to depict the world as it is. Not all photographs have a deeper underlying message they want to convey. We make use of certain images in order to share our own experiences and tell a story with other people. Or perhaps the photographer simply captured a comical event.
However, with that being said, some photographers do use their photographs in order to create an everlasting memory of themselves. Typically, we use photographs as a mean of self-expression. They can express a thought, a memory, or even a viewpoint. It does require great skill, not only from the person trying to read the photograph, but also from the photographer itself.
In a world divided by black and white versus colored pictures, I understand why photographers make use of black and white pictures in order to distinctly portray the underlying message conveyed in the picture. The usage of black and white pictures separates things, allowing us to focus on things we otherwise wouldn’t.
Tying to decode the message of something is endless. For example, decoding a poem is something exhausting, since one will never be entirely sure if that was what the author meant. Also, the camera’s intentions can be different from the those of the photographer. I believe a skilled photographer will use a camera in a way that it will support their intentions.
To conclude, I do believe photographs are a medium of communication. Nonetheless, they can also simply portray an image of the world as it is. It merely depends on the intentions of the photographer and how skilled they are. Depending on what their message is, they can make use of black and white pictures to emphasize certain aspect of the photograph.