So, what goes into the making of a photograph?
Well, first you need a camera. These come in all shapes and sizes, from a little red shiny thing the size of a bar of soap that my Anya has, to professional monstrosities they use for wedding photography. This is your brain. It determines how much information you are able to store and how quickly you are able to fire. It also comes with all kinds of feature. On the surface of it, the more the better. On the other hand, all these features become confusing, you hardly ever use them, and the camera becomes bulkier and more fragile at the expense of it.
While on the camera subject, I humbly propose my little theory about male vs. female brains. Let’s take two cameras that are identical – same make, same memory. And let’s assume that the amount of resolution is written on the X chromosome, and that panoramic function is written on the Y. If my little theory is correct, women can see twice as much detail, and men can have a much wider view. Given the same camera.
Now you pick up your own unique camera and start taking pictures with it. You take them from where you stand, and keep taking them as you are walking. Most of the pictures you’ve taken are deleted, you only keep the best and the most striking ones. But the one that is biggest and clearest is the one you are seeing right now. And that depends on your perspective. Let’s assume you are walking up, or at least trying to walk up.
If you are lucky enough to be standing on a ridge, you can see pretty far. Trouble with photographs, though, is that it flattens everything out into a two-dimensional representation. So from the ridge, you can see your child standing somewhere, but you don’t necessarily see that he just managed to climb a little hill of his own and he is really proud of it. All you can see is that he is heading for a swamp or an edge of a cliff, and you try to yell down to prevent him from getting into trouble.
Most of the time, though, you are not on a ridge. You are scrambling up, with trees and rocks on all sides, and you hardly ever look down. Other times you come into a cave for shelter from the elements. Or you are stuck crossing a marsh, or walking through a valley. Your current picture will reflect this reality. Again, the same camera will give you completely different pictures depending on where you are in your life’s journey, so even if your child has inherited the exact same apparatus, his perspective is going to be vastly different.
Now, there are also filters. It is your personality. They are easiest to understand if you think of the filters in a photo editor. Pixellate, pastels, glamour glow, sharpen, you name it. The personality filter will take more explaining in a different post. For now, think about personality as a physical filter you have in front of your lens that would give the photograph another dimension of unique quality. Again, even if you child has inherited your camera, and if you are standing in the same place taking the same picture, it is going to come out different depending on the filter that is in front of the lens.
And finally, there are light and weather conditions, and that will be your mood and your physical fitness on a given day. The picture is completely different on a bright sunny day and on a day that is grey and overcast, different at sunrise and at dusk. And if you want to see anything recognizable at night, you would need a tripod to hold your camera steady enough for long enough to capture the beauty of the stars, moon and fires.
Shall we look at filters or compare photographs next?