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Why Images Still Captivate Us

We ache for the genuine. To know there is the pulse of warm blood running through a body, full-throated and clear. To know that there are others out there, behind the veiled walls of data, pixels, and screens. To reconnect with a collective conscious that transcends the divisive chasm that is America today and find a yesterday that binds us.

In the here and now, there is no time for the still. Beats are measured in billionths, moments fray at the edges of distinction, and we speak in streams of 140. But the mythology lives.

God made a farmer.

We hear the words.

God made a farmer.

We hear it, and we respond.

That Dodge Ram commercial during this 47th Super Bowl was a sledgehammer, shattering time and space. There was the controversy, there was the commercialism. It was a deft, sly sell to be sure. But before entering the national dialogue, before any thoughts could settle about what it was and what it wasn’t, for those 2 minutes America was spellbound.

The commercial was a testament to the power of voice and image. The force of story. And it was a reminder that photography is more than moments. Done right, a picture doesn’t just freeze action. It preserves value. That wasn’t a farmer tossing hay from a truck. He was the salt of the earth. It was blood, sweat, and tears. Those weren’t just hands. They were touch and humanity. And that wasn’t a church. It was faith.

Never forget the power of this thing we practice. Photography invokes connotation. It is potential in stasis – a straight feed into the subconscious, that bypasses all thought and reason to burrow right into the place of our dreams, hopes, and needs. Photography is our mythology.

And for all the uncertainty about this medium in flux, on that late day, one thing was crystal clear: the still image isn’t going anywhere soon. In those pitch perfect images of a forgotten middle America, we understood that this is an art form that transforms every today into a collective yesterday. Photography is part of us all. And when it calls, we respond.

About Spencer Lum

Spencer is a storyteller with an indelible belief in the raw humanity of weddings. 

With 10 years of experience running Brooklyn-based 5 West Studios, he has developed a style that combines influences from fine art and photojournalism. He has also enjoyed time as a designer, creative director, and filmmaker. 

Spencer is the founder of the industry blog, Ground Glass, as well as a doting husband and father of two beautiful children in Brooklyn, NY. 

The NEW ShootQ is Complimentary while in Beta mode for the next few months.  Enjoy!
The NEW ShootQ is Complimentary while in Beta mode for the next few months.  Enjoy!