Plato’s Cave, or At Least My Interpretation of It

Cave with light peering in. Bruno Van Der Kraan

A photograph is a capturing of a unique moment. It is not notes jotted down about someones unique experience during a certain event or someones artistic depiction of a moment in history. A photograph is a captured moment in history that depicts the truth. In the caves of our lives, where we decide what is our reality, a photograph is the one item that is undoubtedly true. We take photographs wherever we go because it gives us a sense of ownership and belonging. They remind us of moments in our life that happened and we can look back to using a physical object.

Concert. Nathan Fertig

We take photographs so we feel like we participated. School photos, team photos, family vacations, concerts, dates, etc. The list can go on and on. We take photographs as a way to relive a moment in time, giving a sense of immortality to your experiences.

Traveling. Eva Darron

As humans, we want to hold onto our experiences as a way to feel seasoned and having lived a fulfilling life. No one brags about sitting at home all day, but the people who go out into the world and experience something more than the mundane routine of everyday life are always the people who have something more to say.

When thinking about the camera itself, one might think of it as a small, harmless device used in professional and recreational settings. Although that may be true, it is indeed so much more. If a camera is so normal in everyday existence, then why do people feel so uncomfortable when a camera is around and a stranger is holding it? Do we associate this setting with serial killers and their fascination for images of their victims? A camera is not as harmless as we may perceive it to be. When a photographer is looking for the best possible image it as if they are hunting their next prey. Overall, there seems to be a violent connotation when it comes to photography.

The interesting thing about photography is that a photograph may have meaning to the person who took it, but to the public there could be nothing. If an event happens and you photograph it but no one hears about it, then your photos have no meaning to the world. If the event happens and it is named or characterized, then your photographs can be felt by the entire world. It would seem that photos have almost a political and moral charge when they are characterized by the general public.

Men firing a Cannon. The New York Public Library

Take the images of Vietnam War and how they affected the general public. Before the Vietnam War, the enemies where deemed as a faceless threat, you where only afraid of the name and not by the appearance. As images and video feed came back the the US of the war and these images started to infiltrate the homes of the public, the opinion on the war drastically changed and people felt that they had a moral obligation to go against this war.

Joshua is an amateur Photographer, with his main focus on Graphic Design and Music.