“The Photograph” Reflective Essay
For me, reading “The Photograph” reminded me a lot of my philosophy class, when we talked about how taking a picture of something was the lowest and most basic form of expression. This was emphasized in the paper when the writer was talking about the philosophy of photography of course, specifically when they talk about how the casual and naive viewer of a photograph will simply see the photo and believe it to be the most accurate form of expression, and that they are one in the same. I realize that this is not the case, but that does not mean that I don’t consider myself still a naive observer of the world, because I do. However, I consider myself to be like the naive observer that starts asking questions, simply starting to embark on the journey of philosophical photography.
One of my favorite forms of photography is “Still Life”. This summer, when I visited my brother in Germany, we went to the Alte Nationalgalerie, as well as a museum of modern art, in which there were 2 exhibits focusing on still life. When I was younger, I simply enjoyed still life because I found it aesthetically pleasing and would often put it as my computer background, replacing the classic windows backgrounds with something I considered to be a little more refined. But I hadn’t really questioned why specific items were placed where they were, or the purpose of the camera lighting. Luckily, my brother had been studying art longer than I had, and he enlightened me and helped me think more openly about art, and pushed me to question all of the little things in art pieces, because despite them not taking up as much space, that does not mean they are not as significant as some of the bigger and more obvious features on a piece.
I enjoyed when the author went more in depth into decoding and the concept of the world being in black and white. Seeing the world and the people in our world as merely “good” or “bad” is very close minded. I think about this a lot when I read books or watch movies. When a storyteller tries to make a villain just completely bad, it makes for a forgettable villain with a usually boring motive as well. However, when the villain is humanized, showing gray areas, it makes you think more about the character development, and how the grey areas could affect the main character, making for a much more interesting story than “The Mary Sue main character goes to defeat the Big Bad who is trying to destroy the world because they are so evil!” Simply put, I find it boring when a storyteller will try to imagine the world in black and white, which I really agreed with from the paper. I understand that these things don’t really relate to photography, but I am majoring in Interactive Games Studies, and I hope to make my own successful video game, so thoughts about character concepts and world-building often pop into my head.