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Why We Photograph

I really like this quote by Susan Sontag, author of On Photography, a book that I previously read.  “All photographs are memento mori.  To take a photograph is to participate in another person’s (or thing’s) mortality, vulnerability, mutability.  Precisely by slicing out this moment and freezing it, all photographs testify to time’s relentless melt.”

Creating photographs is very prevalent today with the easy access to cameras on telephones, ipads, and easy access to digital cameras, producing images instantly, for no monetary cost, with the ability to easily share images electronically.  Photography has very much changed since the invention of photography in the early 1800s, which is attributed to Nicephore Niepce.  As a result, people are most likely taking more photographs now, compared to earlier times, when it was more cumbersome, time intensive, and required a greater financial investment to take and produce photographs.

Whether called “photography as art” or documentation, the camera’s images are increasingly part of our shared experiences.  Our memory banks are filled with images that have a profound impact on us.  It is important to preserve not only highlights in our lives, but also the ordinary, fleeting moments.

I have been drawn to photography because it creates a record in time forever preserved (at least as long as the photograph is preserved and/or as long as the digital negative is preserved).

Photographs freeze a slice in time that we want to preserve.

Photographs help us remember various times in our lives and history.  See Dear Photograph for a neat perspective on photography – taking a picture of a picture, from the past, in the present.

Photographs allows one to create a body of art work.

Enjoy capturing and documenting what is important to you!


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