NARRATOR: Henry Luce always had a fascination with what he called "picture magic". To introduce his new magazine to the world, he wrote an essay which described the many powers of photography. "To see life. To see the world. To watch the faces of the poor, and the gestures of the proud. To see strange things. Machines, armies, multitudes, and shadows in the jungle. To see, and to take pleasure in seeing. To see and be instructed. To see and be amazed..."
Every part of the photographic image carries some information that contributes to its total statement; the viewer’s responsibility is to see, in the most literal way, everything that is there and respond to it. To put it another way, the statement the image makes – not just what it show you, but the mood, moral evaluation and casual connections it suggest – is built up from those details. A proper ‘reading’ of a photograph sees and responds to them consciously.
The photographer sees the world as a child sees the bits of glass in a kaleidoscope. If he has a camera with which he can secure these ever-changing combinations, he is then able to look on them again and again, and he has the further pleasure of pleasing others with the sight of things which he, with perhaps unusual opportunities, was able to see, which his friends would otherwise not ever be able to.