My husband gave me a camera for Christmas. It is a wonderful camera, and it knows much more about being a camera than I do. I’m still learning how to use it, trying out the settings and the buttons to see what they will do.
Above is a picture of a beautiful gutta percha cross given to me by a close friend in celebration of my baptism. The picture is a reminder to me of the many facets of simple things. The camera took the picture in color, and the light and color in the picture were bright, almost orange. The picture did not look like what I saw in front of me when I took it. So I altered the picture, and now I like the way it looks. But of course, it still does not look like what I saw in front of me. I don’t see in black-and-white.
When I look at a picture, I see it. But do I realize how many layers I am looking through to see it? Do I remind myself that the object itself was not quite this color, that the light was different, that the zoom button allowed me to leave out the context of the object? When I look at a picture, what am I actually seeing? How much artistry and artifice do I overlook all around me, on a daily basis?
What is the difference between art and artifice? Perhaps it is the intention of the artist. If I had posted the original picture, would you have been able to see past the poor photo quality? Would the cross have been obscured by the accurate depiction of my inept use of the camera settings? Perhaps you can see the “real” cross better in this altered photograph. Are there times when unreality is the only way to see reality?
I’m not sure.