I watched the Tamil movie Pizza 2 last night. Good movie and I liked it. There was a part where they speak of how the ambiance of a place influences an artist’s work.
I stepped out of the theater and suddenly noticed a guy walk by wearing a t-shirt that read “Stolen Souls”. Then it happened. I got this exaggerated sense of multiple focal points in a rapid sequence.
I saw an old projector on display and it looked like a cannon about to fire right at me and I instinctively sidestepped, only to find myself in the line of fire again. This time, however, the shooting was done with a phone camera; a group of people posing for a photograph.
Then it hit me.
In the old days, it was believed and feared that cameras would steal and capture our souls. It was, of course, disregarded as a silly and ignorant superstition. However, was it really that far from the truth?
Today, everything must be shot. We want to capture more photos than memories. We view the most special moments in life through our cameras first and then through our eyes.
Our child’s first steps, the view atop a hill we just climbed, an early morning dew drop hanging from the tip of a leaf…We don’t really take in these soulful moments anymore for we have lost our souls to the cameras we always have with us.
Be it a beautiful rainbow, a magnificent beast in action or a scene of human violence, we put our cameras before our souls. Photography is a beautiful art, no doubt about that but looking at a picture has become more valuable than living through the real thing.
It is only material proof that sells these days and not actual experience.
So in that way, cameras have, indeed, stolen our souls.