Lavender oil, Jewish bitumen. And a pinhole on a tin board that roughly does the elegant work of the human eye.
On the morning of 1826, a mechanically bent Frenchman gathered them all up, straightened the box from the window over the roof of a dull barn, and invented the picture.
Of all the arts, photography is not to be respected, admired, or pretended to be understood. And I’ve worked with newspaper photographers for almost 40 years.
The photographer’s medium is light, light itself, and what Einstein told us is more realistic than time, but scientists are trying to define it. Shall we call it power? It’s not even clear whether to call it a wave or a particle. As a verbal person, it feels like free fall.
When I wrote a history column in my last newspaper, an old man told me about a forgotten cemetery I knew in the Avondale woods. One day the photographer and I went there, picked him up, and went hunting.
Maybe she knew that, she was suspicious, but it was a beautiful spring day.
The three of us ran around the hill talking about the past. We never found a grave.
However, I remember how intrigued the photographer’s clear eyes were, capturing the light reflected in the car. And I saw her involuntarily turn him to the subject.
In the most realistic profession, she was still an artist. She always looked to both news and art. One of his recordings she took is still somewhere.
I think photographers have as opportunistic an eye as most artists. In a way, they’re all journalists, coldly waiting to be attacked by the light when it turns to magic.
More than painters and poets, they are bound to reality, but supplemented by vigilance that makes them feel animal and beautiful at the same time. I saw clouds running across the field for 30 minutes until they were right behind the tree.
Unrealistic, I expect all photos to act responsibly on the basis of reality. I know I can make fools of people. That kind of authority comes with responsibility, doesn’t it? And recently there are already enough banana peels.
Starry sky observation has been my hobby for a long time, but I see night sky images and digital images online that I have never seen or will never see. The Milky Way in the night sky over the illuminated city.
They are not fakes. The light is really there. The galaxy with its faintly visible dust and star channels rises above the grid of street lamps and office lights.
Your eyes don’t act like the digital camera that took them, so you can only see them in a photo. You can neither set the aperture nor adjust the ISO and shutter speed. There is no Adobe in your head.
The dark skies of our time require patience. You need to stay away from the light long enough for your eyes to be fully open. After resting in the dark for about 20 minutes in the house, you step into a landscape with no light under the clear night sky. Heaven sings you Gloria.
Many people living today have never seen it. Since our ancestors left trees in the vast Serengeti, its sights and wonders are likely the starting point for all human speculation.
Arranging the scene for modern teenagers? “That’s it? The internet is looking better. Can I have my cell phone now?”
The writer follows the words and the photographer follows the light. From the 1826 Vernier bitumen photograph (which, if it contained geese and pigs, went back and forth during exposure time to erase itself) to the digital display of the spanned galaxy of light. This inner unity is the reason why photography is an art. To us.
Artists collect light mechanically or digitally. Reality has already been cut out and bypassed. The photographer chose this time, this point, this angle and the frame of the lens. The photographer then more or less changes the collected light and turns it into an art. It wasn’t a reality before the lens clicked.
“Unscripted” is a weekly entertainment column produced by the author’s rotation team.
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