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How has photography changed the idea of viewing nature objectively

Nov 12, 2018 | 0 comments

Nov 12, 2018 | Essays | 0 comments

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How has photography changed the idea of viewing nature objectively?

Did Daston and Galison claim unique about mechanical objectivity using camera?

In what ways is a photograph imperfect for conveying the real?

In the field of natural science, observation, that is, looking carefully at the subject to know what it actually is and recoding the information gained from what one is seeing, is one of the most important bases for scientists. Up until today, a great number of scientific discoveries have been achieved based on observation. As natural science is the study to understand and explain how nature works, it has always been a big matter how to observe and interpret it. In fact, regarding observation of nature there were huge debates in history over controlling oneself so as to represent it as faithful as possible by suppressing one’s preconceptions and desire to idealize the observational results (Daston and Galison 2007, 17). In other words, in order to observe nature one is required to exclude subjectivity to a maximum extent and look at it objectively. However, the idea of scientific objectivity has a relatively short history and according to Daston and Galison, it appeared in the middle of the nineteenth century. People were struggled with how to see and represent nature

The development of camera, which has “mechanical eye” (Daston and Galison) must have had a significant impact on the idea of objectivity. In this essay, firstly I will discuss how photography has changed the idea of viewing nature objectively by referring to Daston and Galison’s explanation about objectivity. In latter part, I will discess….

They also discus how a new type of objectivity, “mechanical objectivity”, emerged after the nineteenth century by focusing on the changes in scientific image making.

Mechanical objectivity VS truth to nature

Mechanical objectivity is looking at an subject by excluding completely one’s subjective eye.

Like machine

Camera has a “mechanical eye”- independent to subjectiveness

Then how to interpret it became a big matter.

Believing is seeing