The point is a simple one, and perhaps not all that new, but hopefully no less profound for all that. The camera offers us a way of seeing, and with it a reminder that for all its realist pretensions, the cliché that “seeing is believing” must always be measured against the register or scale from which sight itself always begins. And so it is that the photographers’ lens can take the simple and make it appear complex (or visa versa), just as it can render the ordinary altogether exotic (and the reverse). The photographs below of last week’s lunar eclipse, which have been featured at a number of slide shows (here, here, and here), do both while also underscoring magnitude, indicating how what otherwise appears large is truly small, and how the small can be truly gargantuan (or maybe it is the other way around).
It will certainly not solve the world’s problems in realizing how small it is (or alternately, how small we are in it), but then again, as a new year is soon upon us it would not be a bad place to start.
(In order, the photos were shot from New Delhi, Sydney, Amman, Jerusalem, Rome, San Francisco, Kuala Lumpur, Beijing, and Seoul.)
Photo Credits: Saurabh Das/AP; Tim Winbourne/Reuters; Ronen Zvulun/Reuters; Ali Jareki/Reuters; Tony Gentle/Reuters; Beck Diefenbach/Reuters; Bazukl Muhammad/Reuters; David Gray/Reuters; Jo Yong-Kak/Reuters