2.03.2013

The Trick of Still Photography


The trick of still photography is that the photos have a very shady relationship with reality.  On the one hand, the fact that the photo exists and has been shared -- suggests not only the veracity of the claims it makes, but also implies the centrality of those claims to the particular situation it describes.

So the naive viewer may look at this picture and assume that it's a picture about Moriah, looking obliviously in the wrong direction while an eagle swoops down and steals BOTH her beer AND the ketchup.

But I must point out, dear reader, that there are other possibilities here!

Perhaps the eagle thought that by looking at Christopher, he'd allay all fears and suspicions about his helpless prey.  BUT he foolishly mistook Moriah's calculatingly oblivious glance for a signal that she didn't have any idea about his hunting expedition.  But then! just before those talons seized the beer OR the ketchup?  Moriah with a swift and powerful (and really, quite nonchallant) backhand knocked the eagle all the way out of Amvets.

I'm just saying that a picture is one moment and it may or may not mean what we think it means; regardless of how carefully we think we examine the elements of that moment.  Because things are always changing.  What seems true now? May or may not be so true in a moment.  And that's quite a trick.

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