The World Through Our Eyes and Lens


"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, 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 #reflection #lomography #inspiration #purpose #analogue-lifestyle #diane-arbus #philosophy


  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"?

  • Shop News

    Diana Mini and Flash Petite Noire at 25% off

    Diana Mini and Flash Petite Noire at 25% off

    At 25% off you can take dreamy 35mm images with this little black beauty. Beam coloured light into your shots with its accompanying Diana Flash Back accessory and be the analogue king of the night.

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • Lomography Asks: Is It Acceptable to Photograph the Homeless?

    written by Julien Matabuena on 2015-09-25 in #world #news
    Lomography Asks: Is It Acceptable to Photograph the Homeless?

    "Is it acceptable to photograph the homeless?" is one of the most hotly-debated topics when it comes to street photography. There are two opposing sides to this: those who believe it is, and those who don't. For those who do, capturing such photographs is mere documentation of the world around us. For those who don't, doing so is a form of exploitation.

  • Shop News

    Fuji Instax Wide 300

    Fuji Instax Wide 300

    Shoot wider and bigger with this new instax camera that has film format twice the size of the instax mini films!

  • Kyoto in a Heartbeat

    written by kenaz on 2015-07-30 in #gear #lifestyle
    Kyoto in a Heartbeat

    Like a cluster of cherry blossoms, the temples in Kyoto can stop visitors in their tracks. These people assume the pose of a statue, a camera dangling from their neck and hands. On a first visit especially, the impulse to photograph every angle is constant. The Kinkaku-ji Temple and the torii-lined Fushimi Inari-Taisha are always packed; one would think the tourists would hurry along. But really, many are busy taking snatches of Kyoto with them.

  • Elliott Erwitt's Contact Sheets

    written by Julien Matabuena on 2015-06-05 in #world #lifestyle #videos
    Elliott Erwitt's Contact Sheets

    "If there's one thing photographers must never ever do, it is to show their contact sheets or to display them in public," says the esteemed photographer, who does exactly that in this short clip.

  • 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.

  • Shop News

    The Lomography Experimental Lens Kit opens up a new, creative photographic domain!

    The Lomography Experimental Lens Kit opens up a new, creative photographic domain!

    Satisfy your hunger for creative snap-shooting with this lens package made especially for Micro 4/3 digital cameras! Don't miss the 20% discount!

  • The New Petzval 58 Bokeh Control Lens at the New York Fashion Week

    written by antoniocastello on 2015-06-01 in #gear
    The New Petzval 58 Bokeh Control Lens at the New York Fashion Week

    Lomography has just launched the new Petzval 58 Bokeh Control lens campaign on Kickstarter. Luckily, I was able to try the prototype of the lens back in February. And if you're in New York City in February, there is one thing you can't miss: the Fashion Week.

  • 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.

  • Shooting Squares with the LC-A 120

    written by pripri2000 on 2015-04-22 in #gear #news
    Shooting Squares with the LC-A 120

    Capture the world and all its contours in vibrant, wide-angled photographs any time, any where! The LC-A 120 is an adventure of its own with lots of exciting functions to experiment with, like seamless long exposures or full ISO control. It's also super-fast and ultra-compact - perfect for your everyday. If you're worried about the Medium Format film, don't be! You are free to use any 120 Film you want and there are plenty to choose from. In fact, that's what makes this camera so versatile! Scroll through this gallery for a little taste of the glorious shots this nifty invention is capable of.