A Photographed Reality

A few weeks ago I wrote how I had bought myself a new camera (its been working out great by the way). I opened that post by talking about how much things have changed in the past decade or so (possibly even less) with the swift and sudden proliferation of cameras everywhere, thanks in part, a lot, to smart phones and other devices that have built in photographing features.

Today Randall Munroe, of XKCD fame, gets us to think a little bit more about what this abundance means with this comic:

Since the advent of photographic technology our recording of history has drastically been altered.  No longer did events or people rely on the perspective of an artist to preserve a moment, instead a piece of technology was able to accurately capture any occurrence.  Of course, a camera had to be present to do the capturing though.  But now, that is a literal reality.  Cameras are everywhere, and there are few if any events that go uncaptured by their lenses.

Imagine then, how much the generations a hundred years from now will be able to know about our present world as opposed to what we can currently know about the world a hundred years ago.  So many more photographs, of such higher quality, provide a much more detailed glimpse of life at a particular time and place.  Certainly photos are imperfect representations in many ways (you can’t hear that persons laugh, or smell the sea, or taste the wine), but they do provide a lot of insight.


Just think, without the ubiquitous availability of phone cameras (and the quick wit of my wife), moments like this, of my brother and I, being so much brothers, would be lost to time.

It ceaselessly amazes me.

~ by Nathaniel on July 8, 2013.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: