- Oct 9, 2010
- 35mm RF
Is photography Magic?
I'm sitting here reading stuff that people are posting from all over the world to an online website. That is magic.
A leaf falls to the forest. It begins to deteriorate due to rain and sun. It transforms into it's base elements, and that is pulled up by the roots of a tree nearby. It then reappears as....a leaf.
What caused this to happen? Wind, rain and sun mainly. So when you look at that leaf, you are really looking at the sun's warmth and light, the rain which came from the clouds, and the wind that blew the clouds over the tree.
A drop of dew on a single blade of grass reflects all the stars in the heavens above.
"F-ing magnets, how do they work?"
When we don't understand things, the perception that these things are "magic" in nature, is likely some sort of psychological fill-in device to keep our brains going because frankly, most of us barely understand anything. Most people don't have a clue about cameras besides point and push button. In some ways, there's very much a "magic" in this, especially when, without fully understanding what they are doing, they get results they really like.
I know this is probably kinda dumb to say, but not knowing everything about the craft and digging for the answers is "magic" in its own right. Do you remember the first time you got that look you wanted? Of course you do. It's burned into your happy memories.
Thing is, when you start to understand the craft, the idea of "magic" becomes somewhat absurd to the mind. That amazing result you are looking to create is no longer a mystery of wonder. It's an analysis away from replication. Does this kill "the magic" of photography? I'd say to some degree it can because how often have you looked at something of your own and overanalyzed it to death, only to then have someone say, "wow, great picture!"
Yes, it is!
While we can understand the process, the fact that I'm able to sometimes get a gorgeous photograph with the light just right, on a puddle from yesterday's rain and with a person walking by at the right moment always leaves me feeling perplexed. I think it's the combination of things that have to happen, plus my ability to see it and capture it, that gives photography that exhilarating mystery that feels like magic.
If the man wasn't black the photo would lose its magic. (HCB, man jumping off ladder into puddle: "Behind the Gare Saint-Lazare") would lose it's magic.
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