The Viewfinder

Making images using a camera involves the press of a button. This is a decision the photographer makes. With the introduction of the LCD display and the ubiquity of the live view mode we must ask why using an optical view finder is still relevant. When shooting from a LCD screen we decide what the photograph will look like. When using the optical view finder, we decide what to see. The two are essentially different because our seeing involves an extra dimension. Thus the view finder resolves the image into one dimension less, but gives us the added responsibility of shifting our priorities from those of seeing to those of choosing. This is important because choosing from a given set of images is different from choosing what to look at, or at times, how to look at. Thus when shooting from a screen we tend to prefer seeing situations or objects that can easily be resolved into two dimensions, because we are constantly thinking about how this would look on the screen. The photographer becomes a curator. This obviously begets the question: How is a photographer different from a curator? The photographer is a visual artist and the photographer's fidelity should be more towards searching for a way of seeing than searching for things to see. It is this strong sense of fidelity that produces pictures banal and deep at the same time.