Monday, January 5, 2015

Let’s Read Together. “On Photography” by Susan Sontag. (Tourism and Photography)

Susan Sontag’s book “On Photography” originally appeared as a series of essays in the “New York Review of Books between 1973 and 1977. As a book, it became a bestseller and nowadays it’s the classic book on photography.
 I read it several times and every time I found something new and absolutely modern.
You might want to re-read some pages and to reflect upon photography in our days.


“As photographs give people an imaginary possession of a past that is unreal, they also help people to take possession of space in which they are insecure. Thus, photography develops in tandem with one of the most characteristic of modern activities: tourism… It seems positively unnatural to travel for pleasure without taking a camera along. Photographs will offer indisputable evidence that the trip was made, that the program was carried out, that fun was had… A way of certifying experience, taking photographs, is also a way of refusing it – by limiting experience to a search for the photogenic, by converting experience into an image, a souvenir. Travel becomes a strategy for accumulating photographs.”

We can compare this description with the reality of our days. We understand that S.Sontag’s description is absolutely true nowadays.
It’s impossible to imagine the modern world without hordes of tourists. And it’s impossible to imagine a tourist without a camera.
It maybe a point-and-shoot camera, an Apple iPhone, a smartphone, a spiffy new DSLR camera …

Crowds of tourists snap photographs of their family and friends, take selfies next to all famous sculptures, buildings or nature sanctuaries.

Each time one crowd begins to thin, another group descends on a famous object. Surely you saw this scene many times…
I encourage taking photographs responsibly. Stop for a while, enjoy the moment and the scene and… happy shooting!

  Thank you for reading!
  Pass this information forward. Share it with others :)