Relationship Between Photography and Power
The word power is used in various ways in today’s society. Dictionary.com defines power as, the ability to do or act; capability of doing or accomplishing something. The word power is repeated frequently in Sontag’s essay. Most often, power is expressed in multiple ways and in Sontag’s view photographs may be the most important. The relationship between photography and power can be weaved together to make a variety of opinions.
Sontag’s view of photography is not of an ordinary view. In fact, Sontag views photography as an art form. She views photos for its meaning and not its image. In Sontag’s point of view photographs explain everything, (Sontag, 1997, p. 780), “Photographs furnish evidence. Something we hear about, but doubt, seems proven when we are shown a photograph of it.” This is important in Sontag’s claim. The claim can be demonstrated in the case of the “lockless monster,” many people throughout the world believed the claim was true because of the photo evidence was provided. Fortunately, the claim was later proven false thanks to improvements of technology. Clearly one can see the kind of influence pictures can hold even though they could be proven bogus.
A photograph has a sense of immortality versus a book in which you have to create the visual aspect. Sontag learns a photo and study’s it as she can gain experience from it. The average person visualizes a photo for what it is and not what it’s for or the story that comes with the photograph. This is important in Sontag’s success with her writings and stance she takes on certain issues. Sontag also states that, (Sontag, 1997, 779), “collecting photographs is to collect the world” meaning, photographs are taken throughout the world and these photographs speak words.
Sontag makes an interesting statement mid way through her criticism, (Sontag, 1997, p. 784), “The old-fashion camera was clumsier and harder to reload than a brown Bess musket. The...
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