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PLACES AND FORMS OF POWER, do the photos only reflect the reality?

Dissertation : PLACES AND FORMS OF POWER, do the photos only reflect the reality?. Recherche parmi 298 000+ dissertations

Par   •  6 Mai 2018  •  Dissertation  •  611 Mots (3 Pages)  •  706 Vues

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I’m going to deal with the power of photos. By definition, power is the ability to influence others, events, or resources, to make things happen despite obstacles, resistance, or opposition. Nonetheless, it is common belief that photographies are real records of reality and sources of information we have faith in. The first function of a photograph is to show the world around us in a language everybody speaks.

→ If we leave aside altered or artistic photos, do the photos only reflect the reality?

To begin with, photos reflect a world outside. They show part of the world like a prehistoric monument in the UK. I’m thinking about a photo of Stonehenge, a ring of standing stones. There is no people on this photo, only the natural landmark. Moreover, photos may allow us to discover the world from unusual viewpoints. For instance, one taken in low-angle shot under the Eiffel Tower show us a different aspect of the monument. Photos can enrich our perceptions and inspire us.

Therefore photos reflect the photographer’s perception of reality.

Secondly, photos also have the power to convey feelings and ideas. For instance, selfies can show the emotions of the photographer, they are a sort of visual diary … but also a form of narcissism and a trend. Actually, smartphones engender a popularization of photos. Nowadays, a lot of people are able to take photos everywhere and many of them abuse of it. Some behaviours become excessive. As seen in Mrs Marimon Munoz’s one, there is a crowd of people who are taking photos of the Stonehenge at sunrise. Tourists want to remember the magical moment and share it with friends. However, due to people, it is hard to see the landscape, they are spoiling the view. Mrs Munoz denounces mass tourism through her picture.

To sum up pictures are more than a simple recording of the present, they give fought for thoughts and convey the personal ideas of the photographer and traduce a form of commitment.

Thirdly, a photograph can be interpreted in different ways, depending on the biases through which it is viewed. It can focus on certain elements and hide others. I’m thinking about David Carson’s one. It was taken in Ferguson, Missouri, in the USA in the aftermath of Michael Brown’s shooting, a black teenager shot by a white police officer. His photograph represents a policeman firing a tear gas launcher. He is trying to control the mob. Some people can think the policeman is violent, the photo can increase their feeling of unfairness. On the other hand, people can think the policeman is doing his jobs and following orders.. Anyway it features Ferguson as a war zone and doesn’t show anything about the peaceful march. People view this picture through personal biases. Moreover, photographers can use photos as a tool of propaganda by omitting important elements or by highlighting others. I am thinking about ISIS’s hostages photographies which influent isolated person.

All in all, photos have become a powerful means of communication, Photography is also a form of art which doesn’t only reflect the world outside. Even if it can be informative, it is always focused on an aspect of reality. Moreover the power of photography is huge, a simple picture can change people’s way of thinking or also be used


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