Reading a Photograph and Storytelling

Reading a photograph is a mysterious process of complexity science, presented by the chaotic elements of time and space. Beyond the debate since its birth – whether photography is an art or not – it is the fact that with a camera, using as a tool, I am ‘recording’ the time and space, that no other visual art form can do.

I am freezing the bits and pieces of time. It is similar to that flowing river, where I can not bathe twice in the same river, or more precisely in the same water. And that’s why there is nothing called ‘PRESENT’ in a photograph. I wish to capture something about a ‘FUTURE’ (before I press the shutter), but the future that is itself in the photograph now in the ‘PAST’ (the moment I pressed the shutter). Again, in visual communication, our cognitive activity proceeds via the recovery of the past through the objects in the present, only if we consider a photograph as an object that we commonly encountered in daily life. 

And there I live within photography. Echoing the words of Sebastiao Salgado. “I am not an artist. An artist makes an object. Me, it’s not an object, I work in history. I am a storyteller.” But, simultaneously, where story exists, fiction is never far behind. Because storytelling is such a complex process that encompasses not only intentional meaning of the author or unintentional interpretation of the audience, but also a range of possibilities for the story to unfold otherwise, in space and time. That’s why every photograph is a half told truth, as rest of the ‘time’ of the ‘past’ left outside the frame because that ‘space’ was intentionally cropped by me, the photographer. And from there starts the fiction, when you start to READ that photograph. Outside its frame. 

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