Plato’s Cave

After reading Plato’s Allegory of the Cave I am interested in this idea of using photography to represent ones perception of the world. There seems to be something futile about the idea of trying to capture your impression of the world, as in the reading where the chained person is released and they struggle to understand the world they see outside the cave, I feel like it is hard to for someone else to see what you saw then you were taking the picture. This is not to say that trying to capture a photo with a specific meaning is futile, I just hadn’t considered that someone else might see something else in a photo and that this should be something that informs your photography.

In Susan Pontag’s On photography  there was another message which I found equally pertinent;

“…the photographer stays behind his or her camera, creating a tiny element of another world: the image-world that bids to outlast us all.”

This idea that photos will outlast us has become even more true with the invention of the internet. In 2014 there was on average 1.8 billion photograph uploaded each day, resulting in 657 billion photos for the year, this number is only going to grow. This number of photos being uploaded everyday is creating a extensive archive of how we live, which in years to come historians may use to understand our lives. However if you asked people why they uploaded the photo, I think most responses would be in terms of the immediate or the near future, for example uploading a photo to facebook of a holiday you have been on to share it with your friends. In this endeavor to share with your friends is the central focus of the upload and there is often very little thought into how long these photos will last and how they will be perceived in the future. I know I am guilty of this as I am sure I have photos which I completely forgot about and would rather not be associated with now, however it is not something I think society considers often enough.

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