Camera Lucida

The book Camera Lucida: Reflections on Photography was written by
Roland Barthes and is 119 pages long. Camera Lucida was the final book
written Barthes and is actually part of a trilogy which also includes the
books, Roland Barthes and A Lovers Discourse.Camera Lucida discusses
several aspects of the art of photography according to Barthes.The topics
discussed in the book include; Emotion as Departure, Photography as
Adventure, and photography as a casual Phenomenology.Barthes also
explores the responsibility that photography has to inform, to surprise, to
signify, to paint and to waken desire.
Barthes begins the book by explaining his amazement with photography
from an early age.The author describes a photograph of Napoleon’s
youngest brother saying that he was immediately intrigued by the eyes of
the young men.This particular photograph actually caused Barthes to
desire to know more about the art of photography.In the book Barthes
mentions that he was “overcome by an ontological desire; I wanted to learn
at all costs to what Photography was in itself” (Barthes) Barthes spent the
rest of his life in pursuit of the definition of photography.
Barthes also explains that the motivation behind writing the book was
the death of his mother.Barthes asserts that he had a difficult time
finding a photograph of his mother that really captured her personality.
After search through hundreds of pictures Barthes actually chooses a
photograph that was taken of his mother when she was five years old. The
author refers to the picture, which also features her seven year old
brother, as the Winter Garden Photograph.
Barthes explains that this picture helped him to uncover who his
mother truly was.He seemed to believe that this photo captured a time in
his mother life when she was being her authentic self. Barthes also
suggests that the picture is so pure becaus…


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