Sunday, September 14, 2008

American Photography

The picture that I chose, taken by Marion Post Wolcott in 1939, is entitled “Project Family in New Wagon.” I thought that it went with the theme from the videos about the power of images. This photo creates a sense of family and togetherness that happens between a man and his sons; without even seeing their faces we believe that they are a happy family.

The American Photography film that we viewed in class was very eye opening for me. I never realized the power of images. Most people believe what their eyes are telling them is the truth; all their other senses may be telling them some type of lie, but their eyes are not capable of being incorrect. We as a civilization have become so visually orientated that we no longer accept information with out a picture along side.

With the advancement of technology, things like newspapers and magazines have been able to bring photographs from all over the world into our living rooms. We were able to experience things that were never possible, see people that are no longer living. Magazines and newspapers brought the tragedies of war and violence out into the public for all to see and consider. Although the photos were censored, people of the general public were able to feel connected with the deceased soldier’s face printed on the front of the magazine; thus the birth of celebrities and public heroes. Even today, I can’t wait until my tabloid magazine arrives each week so I can see what crazy pictures were taken of celebrities. My question is what is next, after the masses begin to understand that photos are retouched and refined and that the eye is no longer the unfaltering truth, what truths are we supposed to trust next?
-Racheal Johnson-

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