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  1. #1
    BradS's Avatar
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    Can one photo change a life?

    What the title says.

    Can one photo have so significant an effect that it might justifiably be called "life changing"?

    Examples?

  2. #2
    Loose Gravel's Avatar
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    Sure, AA had his Half Dome. When I shot news there were certainly pix that hit the mark. As I switched over to photography for pleasure, there were pix that all of a sudden put everything I had learned into one image. These photos are still good and bring back the moment.
    Watch for Loose Gravel

  3. #3
    MurrayMinchin's Avatar
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    TOTALLY!

    There was a photograph I took so long ago that it's lost in the mists of time. It contained some spark of myself that encouraged further exploration, or contained nothing of the power of the scene I was trying to photograph. Either way, that one image set me on the path I still walk.

    Great question by the way

    Murray

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    MurrayMinchin's Avatar
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    Then again...can it change the life of the person photographed?

    Wasn't there a National Geographic photograph back in the 70's or 80's of a young boy taken in South America, who was distraught over the death of a farm animal after it was hit by a vehicle? Didn't that one photograph initiate enough donations from around the world to build a new school in the boys town?

    That one photograph may have changed more than one life.

    Murray

  5. #5
    Dave Parker's Avatar
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    One photograph, can have amazing influence on changing a life or lives, every since the invention of photography, pictures have captured the mood of the world...look at the picture of the workers at ground zero right after the attacks, the firemen raising the flag, take for example the raising of the flag over Iwo Jima, the blowing up of the Nazi symbol over the chancley at the end of WWII, the images of the fires of 1988 in Yellowstone, and better yet, the photographs of the Haynes party in the 1880's of the Yellowstone region changed the world, with a whole new concept of preservation and help to create the National Park system in the United States, which has now spread to over 100 countries around the world. I have no doubt and image can change a life..now does it change it for the better or the worse....I think that is a more difficult question to answer.

    Dave

  6. #6
    df cardwell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BradS
    What the title says.

    Can one photo have so significant an effect that it might justifiably be called "life changing"?

    Examples?
    Easy. But it seldom has any more to do with the maker of the picture than the fact that the picture was made.

    Once, I was photographing in a hospital and made a couple pictures of a young man on a ventilator and all the other paraphenalia that keeps one alive when the body wants to quit. Auto accident. Going nowhere. Barely alive, and in decline.

    Showed the pictures to the chaplain, who grabbed them and ran out to the waiting room, where the family had been sitting for days but not spending any time with the son. Much crying. Much fear. One by one they began to visit the boy, and he recovered, slowly at first, then, progressively faster. He walked out of the hospital and has a pretty normal life today, kids of his own, healthy.

    The magic, of course, was the family's involvement. The picture was a catalyst. The agent was the chaplain.

    Of course, had the picture NOT been made on 8x10 film, with a Deardorff and a zeiss lens, the outcome would have been different.

    If pyrocat had been around 20 years ago, the kid would have become a doctor himself. But, yes, pictures can easily have a life changing result.

    .
    "One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid,
    and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision"

    -Bertrand Russell

  7. #7
    BradS's Avatar
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    I must have past my 10,000th negative or something because, after making photos for...geez, since I was just about twelve years old, I seem to have produced a photo that, well, people actually seem to like. I have it in our living room and it seems like every third or fourth female that sees it asks if I would photograph them...

  8. #8
    Fintan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BradS
    Can one photo have so significant an effect that it might justifiably be called "life changing"?
    When I bought this album in 1984, I loved the photo on the cover and inside so much that I took up photography. I was only a kid and its been life changing.

    http://www.u2.com/music/albumcovers/md_6.jpg

    Photographer; Anton Corbijn

  9. #9
    rbarker's Avatar
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    Yes, I think so, too. But, I think the nature of the image is different based on which person's life is being changed - the photographer, the subject, or the viewer.

    Consider, for example, the myriad famous news photographs that changed the lives of many people. In contrast, the National Geographic shot of the Afghan girl received decades of attention, but didn't change her life at all.
    [COLOR=SlateGray]"You can't depend on your eyes if your imagination is out of focus." -Mark Twain[/COLOR]

    Ralph Barker
    Rio Rancho, NM

  10. #10
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    Sure. Isn't that why people hire private detectives with long lenses to trail their cheating spouses?
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

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