The Adventure of a Photographer
Walker Evans, 1929
…Because once you’ve begun, there is no reason why you should stop. The line between the reality that is photographed because it seems beautiful to us and the reality that seems beautiful because it has been photographed is very narrow. The minute you start saying something, ‘Ah, how beautiful! We must photograph it!’ you are already close to the view of the person who thinks that everything that is not photographed is lost, as if it had never existed, and that therefore, in order really to live, you must photograph as much as you can, and to photograph as much as you can you must either live in the most photographable way possible, or else consider photographable every moment of your life. The first course leads to stupidity; the second to madness.
excert from The Adventure of a Photographer by Italo Calvino from Difficult Loves
The Adventure of a Photographer is the story of Antonio Paraggi, a simple bachelor who examines and takes up photography to discover the causes of his own private dissatisfaction and soon becomes consumed with capturing life through photographs even as he becomes so obsessively engaged to even notice the interest of the beautiful woman who is posing as his subject.
Perhaps true, total photography, he thought, is a pile of fragments of private images, against the creased background of massacres and coronations.
What insights do you have about the photographic process based on Antonio’s experience? What is true, total photography for you?
Click on the Adobe Acrobat PDF file to download: The Adventure of a Photographer.pdf