Jesus in the clouds

As we grow this site, one of the things we will regularly do is look at images that pop up in the news.

And out first contestant is a photo taken by Monica Aramayo, a traveler who was in San Salvador de Jujuy in Argentina when this appeared in the sky.

Sure looks like Jesus…

Now that is an interesting photo. I truly believe Monica was convinced she was seeing something powerful in the sky, and snapped a pic. I mean that sure looks like a holy apparition of Jesus, arms outstretched.

So let’s unpack a couple of thing here. First, and most important, Monica snapped the pic. In a moment when she saw something she viewed as profound she took the time to point and shoot. It’s a well framed image at that. It uses the rule of thirds, which we will get into later, as well. But good job Monica having the forethought to take the photograph.

Second, it has an ethereal sort of quality. It’s a bit soft, a bit vague, which gives it a mood. Point in its favor.

But the most important element of the photo is what people THINK it is. Many will say it’s Jesus, arms outstretched like the Christ the Redeemer statue in in Rio de Janeiro. Ok I can see that.

But I can also see that it is a bunch of clouds and mountains and sunlight mixed up into a perfect moment where something LOOKS like something.

Truth is, it’s just clouds and sunlight. Probably.

But that hardly matters. We see what we want to see. Any image taken, it seems, can be interpreted different ways. And that is counter to the idea of a photograph. A photograph is supposed to be a hard, cold, reality-displaying snapshot of a moment in time. No room for debate.

Yet amazingly, there is tons of room for debate, in nearly every image. That’s because we bring our own prejudices, our on perspectives, our own points of view both into the photos we take, and the ones we observe. Pick a shot, of anything really, and show it to a friend, and see what kind of debate arises.

If you live say in Alabama, what do you see? Or Vermont? Or Washington State? It’s the same thing. Whatever it is, it does not change because of where you live, or your personal beliefs. So how do we reconcile how people can see the exact same thing, yet interpret it so differently?

Amazingly, nothing in photography, though it probably should be, is cut and dry.

So is it Jesus in the clouds? Or sunlight?

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