Photography shows us the world, but only the world the photographer creates. According to Sontag, “photography implies that we know about the world if we accept it as the camera records it. ” In other words the viewer only sees what’s within the frame. Images allowed us to see situations that occurred, however, it’s extremely limited in what the audience can see. I agree with Sontag’s claim that photography limits our understanding of the world. Photography has accomplished the task of manipulation to the point where images do not exhibit the honesty.
In general photography is used to trick the audience’s eyes. For example, advertisement is displayed every single day in our lives manipulating the honesty. When a cigarette commercial goes on they have enhanced the color, and edited all the little details that appeals to our emotions, making cigarettes look good. The only problem is cigarette isn’t good for you, but the viewers wouldn’t get that message due to the changes the photographers have made. Following this further Sontag said “… one never understands anything from a photograph. The reason for that is because photography shows everything but context. Photography gives you a small glimpse of reality, but the realities have been manipulated to the photographer’s idealism. However as Sontag pointed out “…Photographs fill in blanks in our mental pictures of the present and past. ” Photograph gives proof and confirms the past, but it does not exhibit the honesty a citizen would’ve lived through. For example if no pictures were captured during the holocaust time period, it would be hard for people to believe that all the torturing actually occurred.
Images allowed us to get a glimpse of what the Jews went through but the feelings and emotions aren’t the same. One cannot say they truly understand how the Jews felt, without actually experiencing what the Jews did. It takes one to be there to experience the emotions and tears the Jews had as the gas were released into the chamber. The use of manipulation in images is very common nowadays, considering programs like Photoshop is around. But even in history people have been misled on what is true.
For example, Joseph Stalin was often photographed with children, appearing delighted by their presence. It was not until after his death during the cold war when it was revealed that he murdered millions of citizens involved in the Soviet Union. It was due to propaganda that people had to suffer. Therefore Pictures can only depict events, but it lacks the qualities for one to be knowledgeable. Technology has taken photography to a new level. Susan Sontag implied that photography causes people to become ignorant of the world.
Images do allow one to view and interpret what is occurred; however they are extremely limited to what is within the frame. Because of this, truth and actuality in images are more vulnerable. Photographs does not allow one to taste the exquisite food, feel the breeze of fresh air, or hear the laughter of children playing in the field. Additionally a family photo might portray happiness, yet also hide the abusive father, crying child, and depressed mother. Photography does limit our understanding of the world because the impact photographs make on someone's mind is incomparable to experiences.