Reflection 3: In Plato's Cave

I have taken photography as one of the recreational activities I engage in during pastime. When faced with an opportunity to capture a scenic landscape, I often use any available device to capture the image. Frequently I use my iPhone to photograph picturesque street and urban settings. For instance, while commuting to college, visiting restaurants, parks, and museums, I often use my phone to take a picture of anything appearing distinctive to the camera frame. In addition to that I also use my Canon DSLR to photograph natural scenarios whenever I travel during summer breaks. After editing the pictures either through Adobe Lightroom or on Apple Photos, I post them on a separate Instagram account which I have designated to display my photographic works.

Although my experience with photography is significantly limited, I believe it has become an integral part of human society. As Sotong implies, uses of images are numerous ranging from the very basic practice of memorializing major life events by taking pictures to law enforcement agencies treating images as evidence to solve crimes of every category. Nevertheless, based on the knowledge I have acquired on photography as a student of journalism, I find photography playing a supplementive role in conveying information. Historically, photography has accompanied traditional news format as over the course of decades, newspapers have upholded the methodology of supporting a news article with an image in order to provide visual context to readers. Moreover, in modern times when widespread misinformation on social media creates impediments for people separating news from opinions, images play a powerful role in supporting factual information.

However, in the present age of digital media, producing and sharing images have become more accessible and has unintentionally created a demand for stricter ethical standards on circulation of photographs. Free of cost editing tools for example now yields the potential of reducing the authenticity of an image, with altered graphics enlarging the possibility of any given image used in the wrong context and thus contributing to widespread misinformation.