Saturday, 27 December 2008

On Reading Photographs (2)

The photograph showed four women. "This one's Roberta" the lady from the hotel told me. I looked at the woman she had indicated. "And here, this one is her too." Again I looked but to my eyes Roberta in picture number one looked entirely different from Roberta in picture number two. I mentioned it. "No, no, this is the same person; look she is wearing the same clothes." Indeed but ... I now focussed on the three other ladies. Their facial expressions in photo number one and photo number two were totally different. Had they not worn the same clothes (hardly a reliable indicator!) I would probably have not believed that these were the same women. "The photos were taken on the same day, just minutes apart" I was informed.

Never had it been more obvious to me that one moment can be totally different from the next. This is one of the things that photography can teach us.

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