The Original Sin of Photography

The Original Sin of Photography

(Origi­nally published in MEDIUM)


No. It was not Photoshop, nor going digital. Not iPhone, nor touch devices in general.

And it was no apple from a tree someone ate a long time ago.

But there was a definite, decisive moment.

It was the moment we turned the camera from the world into ourselves. When we lost the curiosity and became self-absorbed in our own image.

Remember the parting words of Steve Jobs (Stanford 2005): “Stay foolish, stay curious”?

We forgot that.

Or maybe we just did not think it was important.

Or was it “we” after all – the profes­sional photo­graphers and journa­lists – or was it the “audience” (or “The people formerly known as audience”– as Clay Shirky called them in his seminal book).

Don’t really know. But “we” — the profes­sional photo­graphers and photo­jour­na­lists — we should have fought it more.

All I know is everyone is busy taking pictures of themselves, projecting a branded image of the self having nothing to do with anything.

The least of which is reality.

From your kid to your president.

And it is causing lots of problems. For the individual, society — globally.

I grew up to different tradition, to a different world.

I wasn’t trained to become a photo­grapher. But that is what I became.

In order to see, to understand. And to share my unders­tanding– and interpre­tation of the world.

Gave up a career of totally something else–because I was curious about the world.

It’s a choice I could not do today–a career I could not build anymore.

Stay foolish, stay curious”

All I know is we got it wrong.

We should have done better.

We can still do.


(Origi­nally published in MEDIUM)

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