In the recent 2007 Emmy Awards that I caught on television, Gwyneth Paltrow gave an opening for the "Best Cinematography" category which stated that with the advancement of video technology, we have all been empowered to becoming our own cinematographers, and that it's no longer left to the professionals.
The picture above was taken yesterday on my way back from school. The incident happened along Adam Road. I was taking a ride home on the bus when I noticed something interesting - A man sleeping in a wooden cabinet on the back of a truck. Immediately, I got Ren Hao who was on the same bus as me to take a picture of him. The amazing thing is that I never would have thought of capturing the moment, had I not been thinking of this assignment.
Before we start jumping to conclusions and laughing about it, as did Ren Hao and I, the important thing to ask is "Why am I finding this so amusing?" Do we have any right, to extrapolate from a single instance, the character of this man, his motivations, and the likes? Jeffrey Rosen (2004) rightly stated that "It's impossible to know someone on the basis of snippets of information; genuine knowledge is something that can only be achieved slowly, over time, behind a shield of privacy, with the handful of people to whom we've chosen to reveal ourselves whole."
The obvious answer then is no. I believe that technology, having empowered us to be our own cinematographers, comes with great responsibilities. Let's not abuse this power to make poor and ill-informed judgments on others, ridiculing and making fun of others.
Rosen, J. (2004, July 19). The Naked Crowd. Retrieved March 10, 2007 from http://www.spiked-online.com/Printable/0000000CA5FF.htm