I am currently reading Photography. A Very Short Introduction by Steve Edwards. In the introductory chapter he discusses what a world without photography would be like:
Photographs have made many things seem ordinary, bringing distant places or unusual things closer to us, but, at the same time, our reliance on them has been at the cost of making much of our experience seem second-hand. — Photography. A Very Short Introduction p. 5
The “cost” he talks about has to do, I think, with the point that there is a mediator – the camera (or the photographer?) – between us and the world we learn about through images. However, this cost does not really concern me; after all, the same can be said about book learning. My point, in other words, is this: second-hand knowledge is much better than no knowledge at all.
(This second-hand, mediator effect is probably related to our previous discussion on photography and memory, where I asked whether we remember less if we view things through a camera than directly with our own eyes.)
The thought of a world without photography is close to painful. Imagine how small the world would be if it went on only as far as our eyes could see! Expanding the world is one reason why I love browsing the Mortal Muses Flickr Pools, and I want to share with you a few of the images I have found there of places my eyes have yet to see in real life:
Mountains in the Glacier National Park in Montana, by Danielle Hughson
Beach life in Queensland, Australia, by Michelle Robinson
A night scene in Madrid, Spain by Chus Martín
~ All the best from Jenny.