I was going through old snaps one day and seeking quite a pleasure from them. (Not photos on my laptop but tangible photo albums). I wondered, “Why do we love seeing pictures?” Maybe because all we see in pictures are people smiling. Pictures eclipse the sadness, the misery in one’s life and all we can see is joy. A human heart jilted with sorrows of the world sometimes tries to find an escape in the happiness of photographs. The photographs lie!
Looking at pictures makes the world a better place to live in. Glancing at our loved ones, seeing their exuberant smiles, reminiscing the golden days spent together does put a curve on my lips. The million dollar smile illusions us to believe that indeed everything captured in that moment was perfect.
In this era of facebook, instagram, snapchat and other million photo sharing applications when mobile phones have high definition quality cameras on the go, photos define an event. No photo means the occasion never existed. Every moment has to be captured. I actually overheard a girl telling her friend once, “Did you check out my photo on facebook? I donated blood.” Something as charitable as blood donation also needs to be publicised. Often teenagers are left dejected if there are not enough “likes” or comments on their photos.
This world is ironical. On one hand we have all the technology and means to get our photos clicked while on the other hand, it has become so fast paced that we do not even have time to breathe and go through old photos at ease.
People visit monumental places not to go back in the sands of time and experience the ancient world of rulers and queens and take a look at history but only to get photos clicked. The backdrop of a fort, the luscious green gardens, the artificial lake, all provide a beautiful ambience for a dslr worth click!
The truth is, say what may, but the camera has the power to bring a smile on everyone’s face. Tell an annoyed person to ‘smile’ for the lens and he or she would involuntarily begin to laugh. It lightens the mood and uplifts the spirit. Moreover, there is no harm if a beautiful picture boosts one’s self esteem and makes him or her feel pretty. However, it is destructive when the face in the picture matters so much that an undesirable click makes one loathe his or her looks.
The camera makes the photographer notice the beauty in everything. Photographs span beyond a nectar flower to a rural woman without any make up but with just a natural charm. They conceal the truth. They overshadow the negative light and focus on the good in everything. Even the sober moments cast a positive impact on the mind.
Photographs and the camera lens hold such a valuable importance in life which we often do not realise. The beginning of a prospective bond of marriage in especially Indian families is through matrimonial pictures. Those perfect pictures of the to be bride and groom with their charming face, gleaming smile from cheek to cheek and perfect hair. Everybody knows the picture has gone through layers of editing and has been photo shopped but who cares, that one picture can decide one’s fate. Families capture posed moments in studios which eventually find a space on their favourite wall so that it is the first thing that meets the eyes of the guests when they walk in their home. However, sometimes we get so lost in getting photographs clicked that we forget to savour the moment.
It would be wrong to accuse only the present generation of being so photo obsessed. Even in the ancient era, the civilisations liked getting their photos generated although, instead of camera they hired artists to draw those events.
Doting parents love capturing each activity that their infants do. Their first chuckle, walk and laugh everything gets captured in reels of video and photos. First day of school, first dance, parents do not want any moment to go unnoticed and so the albums thicken, the memory storage of phones and laptops gets exhausted but everything is stored for remembrance in the future. It is for these delicate memories that when we grow up and go through the albums, we cannot help but adore our own selves.
Moralistically, photographs would be labelled unethical for more than the essence of true memory in it, it is about noticing one’s beauty. All the values about inner beauty go down he drain, it is all the superfluous beauty that shines through those glossy pages or the screen. But for a while, we can put that aside. If something as trivial as photo shopped images can bring us joy then why discard such a treasure trove. If we can escape the reality and pop a bubble of happiness around us for a while, we must seize such an opportunity. Because sometimes things don’t have to be black and white. Sometimes fleeing the gloom and sadness and entering the perfect phase of peace, harmony and love is all we need to soothe us. Sometimes lying and running away from truth is the key to joy.