Christian Long

David Griffin: How Photography Connects Us

In TED Talks on May 25, 2010 at 10:16 pm

Reflection by SAM M.

Original TED page w/ speaker bio, links, comments, etc:

David Griffin:  How Photography Connects Us

I find this TED talk to be one of the harder ones to analyze. Sure photography connects us. Photography puts you in the shoes of someone you aren’t with. It’s almost like you are living vicariously through the photographer. I mean, that’s the point of taking pictures — to tell a story, right? Right.

I do believe pictures can connect people, but almost all of the examples used in the talk were just pictures that made you say ‘cool’. However, I find it hard to connect with the talk any further than that. The entire time I was listening to the talk, I was, for the most part, emotionally and intellectually disconnected. The only pictures that seemed to spark some emotion were the pictures of the poached elephants, the slums of Mumbai, and overfishing in the ocean. Everything else to me was filler material.

As you may have guessed, I’m not really a photography-fanatic. I only take pictures when I go somewhere and I want to remember the sights/people I saw. I personally do not see pictures for anything more than what they physically are — imprints of the past. If this TEDtalk had utilized more emotional photography, then maybe the message would have been presented better.

As much as I disagree with the way the TEDtalk was executed, I cannot help but to agree with the overall message. Photography can (and does) connect, unite, and inspire people. It’s just a matter of finding the wright photographs to do so.

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