Photographs attract false beliefs the way flypaper attracts flies. Why my skepticism? Because vision is privileged in our society and our sensorium. We trust it; we place our confidence in it. Photography allows us to uncritically think. We imagine that photographs provide a magic path to the truth.
What’s more, photographs allow us to think we know more than we really do. We can imagine a context that isn’t really there. In the pre-photographic era, images came directly from our eyes to our brains and were part of our experience of reality. With the advent of photography, images were torn free from the world, snatched from the fabric of reality and enshrined as separate entities. They became more like dreams. It is no wonder that we really don’t know how to deal with them.
- Errol Morris from his new book “Believing is Seeing”