- William Hunton
Stating the Nonobvious
“I look at it this way.”
Photography carries the false reputation of being truthful. “Photographs don’t lie,” we hear. And it is true up to a point. The image captured at a particular time and place, and within the limitations of the camera and lens, then processed, edited and presented, is an objective artifact. It exists. (If you want to argue the point, this blog may not be for you.) There are three elements to every photograph; the image itself, the photographer, and the viewer. In that universe there are a lot of square miles that can be traveled.
We view the world from within looking out the window of context. It is amazing we agree on anything. It is amazing there is such a thing as common experience. The word “empathy” exists for a reason. It’s amazing the idea of objective truth exists at all. However, the existence of an essential fact outside our own contextual observation must be true else how did we come up with the idea at all? Imago Dei. Whether we believe it or not, we all operate as if it is true. We have to, else there could be no exchange among people except by brute force, and the world would be nothing more than an endless procession of ant wars.
It gets all philosophical, and digs to the core of our world views. I didn’t mean to go there. There are plenty of books on the subject, which is further evidence of my opinion.
When a photographer presents a photograph to the public he or she may have an idea about it in mind. Their personal idea may be so personal, so existential as to be totally removed from how other people interact with the image.
Which brings me to the point of this blog. I’m presenting four photographs. I would like you to make up the story behind them. There may be a story. There may only be a story I conjured up after I made the photograph. Was it observation or indigestion? Whatever it is, you are free to make up your own. It’s not so obvious.
As Bob Dylan said “We always did feel the same. We just saw it from a different point of view”
Regardless, have fun with it.