10 January 2012

Photography's Greatest Challenge - Capture a 3D world in 2D

Okay, so you wander around every day consciously and unconsciously taking in the sights and smells and sounds of the world around you. On every level your being is absorbing information and processing it with the knowledge and comfort that comes with trusting your brain will put it all together. Take a cup of coffee for example. You smell the coffee yet you see the steam rising from the top of it knowing it's too hot to drink, all the while enjoying the rich black oily texture you see within your cup. Easy, right?

Sure, I just painted the picture for you. The scene is right there in your mind or so you think. What I haven't told you is the color of the coffee cup, the orientation of the coffee cup handle to the right or left, the surface on which it sits, the surroundings in the room, whether the hand reaching for it is black or white, male or female. So much information is omitted and now you think that perhaps the picture of the scene just formulated in your mind is not what you thought?!

Ah yes, then you see the photograph of it, for there before you lies the 3D scene rendered in 2D with abundant information provided. Not only that but that 3D scene, forever inscribed in 2D was taken in a mere fraction of a second with precision and accuracy tied to that very moment in the grand continuum of life. Talk about a challenge!

As Buddha says – “Things are not what they appear to be: nor are they otherwise!”

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