The World Through Our Eyes and Lens

2

"I really believe there are things nobody would see if I didn’t photograph them." - Diane Arbus

Many of us have been asked or are bound to be asked, “Why do you still shoot film at this time and age?” While this question and all the answers we conjure are important, I think what matters more is to ask ourselves every now and then: Why do we take photos in the first place?

At a time and age where everyone can practically own a camera or a smartphone with decent picture-taking capabilities, there’s this lingering risk of reducing photography to a cyclical social media activity. One takes a photo, spends some time to edit it a little (or a little too much), uploads it to blogs and social media accounts, gets people to comment, then everyone eventually forgets about it. The cycle repeats, and the photograph is cast into the depths of cyberspace, practically consigned to oblivion unless someone unearths it and proceeds to sharing, liking, and commenting.

Back in the days, however, picking up a camera meant more than just taking up a new hobby. It could have started as such, but it eventually served a far more eloquent purpose: to tell compelling stories, to open minds and hearts to various realities, to present a moment frozen in time. In other words, to let people see the world through their (the photographers’) eyes and lens.

Diane Arbus holding a print of “Child with Toy Hand Grenade in Central Park,” one of her best known photographs. via Medina

“I really believe there are things nobody would see if I didn’t photograph them,” American photographer Diane Arbus once said, and I’d like to take it as a good example of the photographer’s eloquent purpose. Arbus became known for taking photos of eccentric subjects that made her an equally eccentric photographer at the time. But, when she took on the task of photographing subjects that others shunned, Arbus gave the world more than just a bunch of photos of “freaks”; she told us that these people exist, and offered us a glimpse of what life was like for the so-called “deviant and marginal people” that lived amongst us.

Credits: i_am_four-eyes, grazie, the_abominable_duckman, gregoriobruning & wuxiong

This, I believe is the mindset and sense of purpose that we should all adapt whenever we have a camera in our hands. Before we point it to a subject, a landscape, or an event unfolding before us, let’s ask ourselves: What message, story, or reality do we want convey in this shot? By doing so, we can, like Arbus continues to do with her own snaps, let people see the things they otherwise might not see, if not for our photographs.

Do you share the same thoughts and sentiment? I’d like to know what you think, so please leave a comment below and let’s get some discussion running!

written by plasticpopsicle on 2013-06-27 in #lifestyle #photography #diane-arbus #purpose #philosophy #lomography #reflection #inspiration #analogue-lifestyle

2 Comments

  1. plasticpopsicle
    plasticpopsicle ·

    Loved your monochrome street snaps, @i_am_four-eyes, @grazie, @the_abominable_duckman, @gregoriobruning, and @wuxiong, so I shared them in this article! Please do share your thoughts as well! :)

  2. wuxiong
    wuxiong ·

    I believe that everybody has his or her own very reasons to take pictures...As it for myself, The first time I had a chance to shoot with a 120 folding camera HongMei, It was like a gift from heaven. I was so amazed by the b/w images and the whole thing was so magic to me ...^..^ That was in the year 1983 and I was a second-year at college...^..^ Since then, photography has been a part of my life---I mean it really is., because everyday Iam thinking, reading about it, viewing photos by other photographers around world thru various magazines and books. It has been always in my mind whatever I am doing. I learn about photo histry and came across some great names: Ansel Adams, Winstern, Doanoir, Bresson, Carpa ectect... I learn what decisive moment is , I learnt zone system, I learnt selective focus etc, etc .They become my dream heros.^..^ For me , taking pics not only satisfy my interests, but it is a way to let people see what I see. I'd record my existence as well as things / people around me...^..^ Thanks a lot for include one of my photos, And thanks to all who read this...^..^

More Interesting Articles

  • Lomo'Instant LomoAmigo:Jorgen Axelvall

    written by ciscoswank on 2014-11-28 in #people #lomoamigos
    Lomo'Instant LomoAmigo:Jorgen Axelvall

    Each person sees the world differently. How we see things are affected by our feelings, characteristics, and background. Jorgen Axelvall, a Swedish visual artist and photographer who is currently based in Tokyo, captures through photographs what his creative vision sees. He recreated his world, even with card-sized instant photos. Catch a glimpse of his moody yet tasteful pieces.

  • Transient Living: Armitage & McMillan in Denver, Colorado

    written by maliha on 2015-01-07 in #world #locations
    Transient Living: Armitage & McMillan in Denver, Colorado

    If you want to know the heart of a person, peek inside his/her wardrobe! And no, nobody famous said that; I only just made it up. But really, don't you think it's true? After all, the way we dress screams our personality; at least for most of us. And that is why, as soon as I land on a new city, one of the things I absolutely must do is find the local boutiques. Sure, I love the fancy chain boutiques as much as the next person, but there's just something else about a local clothing store. It's unique!

  • Most Popular Photo Last Year: November 2, 2013

    written by icequeenubia on 2014-11-02 in #news
    Most Popular Photo Last Year: November 2, 2013

    Are you ready to see the world through the eyes of a "Horizon Cyclops"?

    2
  • Shop News

    Shoot recognizable images with the Petzval

    Shoot recognizable images with the Petzval

    You want your subject be the center of attention? Petzval lens photos are recognizable for sharpness and crispness in the centre, strong color saturation, wonderful swirly bokeh effect, artful vignettes and narrow depth of field that will make your subjects stand out!

  • Photo of the Day by adash

    written by cheeo on 2014-06-22 in #news
    Photo of the Day by adash

    Never be afraid to go on adventures! There are so many fascinating things in the world to explore and take photographs of!

    2
  • Lomography at the Photokina 2014

    written by efrost on 2014-09-12 in #news
    Lomography at the Photokina 2014

    As if there weren't already enough reasons to get yourself to the Photokina, Lomography's at it again... literally. This year, we're taking our stand back to the photography trade show spectacle and would love to see you all there!

  • Danika's Analogue New Petzval Adventures: Vol. 1 - First Tries on Humans and Horses

    written by danika on 2014-11-10 in #news
    Danika's Analogue New Petzval Adventures: Vol. 1 -  First Tries on Humans and Horses

    I initially backed our Petzval Kickstarter project so i would have a really nice Christmas present for my father. However with Christmas coming closer and closer, I decided that this lens would be a much more fitting gift for myself!

  • Shop News

    Lubi Scooby Doo! Save 15% on Lomography film in the Bundle with the Lubitel!

    Lubi Scooby Doo! Save 15% on Lomography film in the Bundle with the Lubitel!

    This beautiful camera features such ability to let users choose and switch between 35mm or 120 formats! Shoot more, save more! Get this Lubitel camera and get 15% discounts with Lomography Films!

  • Light is Magical: A Talk With Li Hui

    written by jennifer_pos on 2015-04-10 in #people #news #lifestyle
    Light is Magical: A Talk With Li Hui

    Photography is not only an act of documentation or communication, it is also a way of seeing the world. The camera opens our eyes and lets us see what lies behind the obvious, and we start looking at things as potential subjects of a photograph. Every leak of light unveils secrets that talented photographers turn into a piece of art. Li Hui is one of those gifted artists. We talked to her about her work and her sensitive photographs that picture a wonderful vulnerability.

    8
  • Lomopedia: Yashica Minitec AF

    written by cheeo on 2014-08-27 in #reviews
    Lomopedia: Yashica Minitec AF

    There's more to the Yashica Minitec AF than meets the eye. Its multi-coated lens shoots crisp and clear photographs from the get-go.

  • LomoWall Your Likes: My Favorite Thing

    written by icequeenubia on 2014-08-30 in #competitions
    LomoWall Your Likes: My Favorite Thing

    Seeing our favorite things pictured in beautiful lomographs can instantly make us smile and perhaps even more so if we put them all in one LomoWall!

    4
  • Shop News

    Immortalize your best shot on Aluminium!

    Immortalize your best shot on Aluminium!

    Carefully enlarged from your negatives onto premium photographic paper by lab professionals, each picture is a unique piece of craftsmanship.

  • My Analogue Bucket List: Faster Than a Speeding Cannonball

    written by bloomchen on 2015-01-22 in #lifestyle
    My Analogue Bucket List: Faster Than a Speeding Cannonball

    The new year is still young, but it seems as if it'll be over quickly. My organizer is already filled with entries until June. 2015 will probably be worse than 2014 when it comes to having time off so I could take some analogue shots. Anyway, there are some photography-related things that I really want to get done. It is probably best to set some goals if I only have very limited time.

  • Product Photography with the Petzval Lens

    written by hannah_brown on 2014-05-20 in #news
    Product Photography with the Petzval Lens

    If you run a small business selling hand made items online, you would know how vitally important it is to have amazing product shots to help sell your work. I tested out the new Petzval lens on some of my hand-printed items to see if I could get a winning shot, and below is an overview of what happened.

  • The Gevabox of Wonders

    written by stratski on 2014-11-18 in #reviews
    The Gevabox of Wonders

    Sometimes you see a camera and you just have to have it. I felt that way about this lovely little box camera. Looks don't mean a thing, I know, but in this case, the looks didn't deceive me.

    1