Camera Lucida By Roland Barthes

1463 Words6 Pages
After Reading Camera Lucida written by Roland Barthes, I was both confused and interested by his ideas. Though I did not understand much of the book, I was able to take a couple of his ideas and really think about how I see photos. In the future, I intend to use these ideas when I look at photos. One of his ideas that I was able to understand is the way he looks at pictures. The other one is his second definition of punctum. The first of the two ideas that interested me the most was the way Barthes looked at photos. He did not say that he liked a photo because it had his favorite animal or color. He looked deeper into the photo. He looked to see what had caught his eye the most about a photo he enjoyed. He called the catching of his eye the punctum. Barthes described the punctum as, “… is that accident which pricks me…” (Barthes 27). This “prick” didn’t always hit him with every photo. Throughout the book, he described certain photos that I thought were interesting, but he did not enjoy them. An example of a photo that he didn’t enjoy was the photo of the two nuns and three helmeted soldiers, which was photographed by Koen Wessing in 1979. The main reason that it didn’t appeal to him was that it didn’t have much of a, “duality” (Barthes 23) to it. Then there were photos that had caught his eye. An example of an image he enjoyed and had his prick was a photo of an African American family; photographed by James Van Der Zee in 1926. The family is not what the punctum was. The
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