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No Pictures Please!: Grasping Photography

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December 14th, 2009

mandrill nichols 674208 ga No Pictures Please!: Grasping Photography

The power of photography: It’s been written about  here before. It has also been written how much one picture can convey with just a still frame. No one understands this better than National Geographic whose pictures alone warrant it a “best magazine ever” title even if it is I who just now arbitrarily bestowed it. The image above of a Mandrill – a monkey-like creature with tangerine eyes, accompanied an article in the March 2001 issue and was also its cover story. It, as well as all the others shown here, was also featured in the Photo of the Day section on Nationals Geographic’s website. In this photo alone there are more than 1,000 separate views that make this picture complete. Don’t see it? Look closer… Still don’t? Let me explain. These, to me, are more than just pictures. Pictures are what you take on vacation, with your friends, when you’re drunk, on your cell phone. Photography is about more than just pictures. What makes it an art form and separates it from picture taking is the same thing that connects all art:  interpretation and idea. All art tells a story and that story has individual meaning for each person that experiences it. Like the frog that swallowed a light or the enormous size and perspective of an elephant, these images are fluid and everlasting. This, of course, is just my take, which for all intents and purposes is the only thing that matters, seeing as how I hold the “pen.” :) But the ability for each to see something different is what makes photography, and more importantly the photographs themselves, timeless.

What do you see?

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