The Chosen one – Photography

A photographer is by definition a storyteller. A storyteller almost never gives you the facts straight away.He always distorts reality to fit his narrative. In a way, he chooses different parts of reality and joins them together in a fictional story. So, storytelling is the act of choosing between many realities. Photography is a similar process.

When you visit a photography exhibition, there are the photographers best picks lined up in an attractive layout. And when you’re busy admiring every individual photograph, you instinctively assume that these photographs were taken by the photographer.

No,they weren’t. Actually, they weren’t just taken by the photographer. They were also chosen by him. Like a storyteller, a photographer takes multiple snapshots of reality. But he choses to exhibit only the one which tells a story he likes. So what you are seeing isn’t a photograph taken by him, it is the photograph chosen by him. He chose that particular photograph because he liked the story that it told. So a photograph is far from an objective window into reality. It is, in fact, no less subjective than the perception of the person who took it. In a way, photographs are akin to paintings – the creation is a reflection of the creator.

The next time you look at a photograph, remember it is much more a choice than a creation.



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