What do you do when you’re faced with a world of mind-bending complexity? You select, you focus, you study. Cameras are great for that.
Yet what about heading out into the street with an eye for everything, and the idea of realizing and recognizing how it all fits together? A tricky prospect. Here’s one take on what one would be up against – in fact with a bit more work this production could be re-conceptualized as The Curse of the (Visual) Anthropologist. Let’s get started by rewriting the tagline:
Most great movies have one story – get ready for a film that’s 6,697,254,041 times better.
(FYI that’s by 2008 statistics)
Ah, the collision between production on the one hand and the utter complexity of life on the other. A lot of people work in this space, including photographers of all stripes. Each and every one studies life and creates artifacts, though in so many different manners.
Making images is inherently an exercise in selection. It is a subtractive process by default – the viewfinder of any camera is a selecting mechanism. A photographer chooses what to include in the frame, what to exclude, what to emphasize, and what to minimize. What lies outside the photograph, what is blended within the bokeh? And while images are a selection, they are not a simplification. They are rather more like a compression, a transmission or communication that blossoms upon receipt. At point of impact the message can be as rich as the source, albeit colored by the experiences of the viewer rather than those of the creator.
Yikes. Good luck out there. Also bikinis.