Carla E. Martinez Mendez
Visual Studies I 1311
Before reading “The Photograph” written by William Flusser, I had thought that a photograph was just a photograph, with no meaning behind the photographer. The ways in which colored photographs and black and white photographs differ amazes me. When you look at a black and white image, you tend to think about the context and meaning behind the surfaces that you see. However, in colored images, you disregard the context and focus on the world rather than the “photographic universe.” It’s interesting how Flusser identifies “black and white” as theoretical. It is true that they are concepts, and if we were to live in a world with no color, just hues of blacks, whites and grays, we would analyze the details more often.
Because we as humans tend to analyze many things on a day-to-day basis, we focus more on logic rather than judgement. This is probably why the debate on religion and science has been going on for many years. If everything is never completely true or completely false (as Flusser mentions) then where exactly do we draw the line in what’s logical and what isn’t? I never really thought that colored photographs were, in reality, worlds of concepts. It’s true that colored photographs are more abstract because when we see a black and white photograph, we are presented with less to think on, and end up being more concrete.
Flusser’s commentary on decoding photographs was, again, fascinating to me because it isn’t really something that most of us think about. A camera’s capabilities are much more powerful than I had previously thought. When you use one, you really are under a “spell,” because you’re limited to that camera’s capabilities and them only. And this can lead to conflicts with whatever the photographer’s intentions may be. I agree with Flusser that these two ideas are interconnected, and that it’s difficult to think about one while disregarding the other. They work together in order to make the viewer more interested with the photograph itself.