Photos that conveys social, cultural, and technical values

Photo as a historical record: Invisible “light” that pictures our “Inner self” 

X-ray photography is somewhat different from general photography, which usually based on the capturing of an image through visible lights. The photo below was the first X-ray photography ever taken in Human history, which captured and recorded a major breakthrough in human scientific development.

The first X-ray image, “Hand mit Ringen” by Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen, 1895.

The hand in this photo is believed to be the hand of Wilhelm’s wife, features a “ghostly” picture of her hand, unlike any ever taken before, with long, shadowy finger bones and a large dark wedding ring. According to folktales, Wilhelm’s wife actually said, “I have seen my death!” and never set foot in his lab again.

A photo that opens up interpretation

The famous photo, as well as the 1985 book cover of National Geographic magazine, Afghan Girl is a fascinating piece of portrait taken by Steve McCurry. At that time, This iconic image has earned McCurry recognition and fame among photographic society, yet also opens up more interpretations towards this piece of work.

Sharbat Gula, Afghan Girl, at Nasir Bagh refugee camp near Peshawar, Pakistan, 1984.

For general public viewers,  this image is a symbol of Afghan, a country of myth, and a country of war. The big green eyes of her are haunted with fear, perhaps suggesting her fear of war and chaos. However, some people have different interpretations. They thought that the fear in her eyes is merely the fear of being photographed, since, in traditional middle east culture, women are not allowed to be photographed.

Photo as the carrier of “Anime-pilgrimage“ culture: 

Quite a few Japanese anime and manga stories actually take place in real-world locations and borrow their sceneries. Fans of these works regard these locations as “holy sites” and will attempt to find these places when they visit Japan. They take pictures of these places not only to indicate that they have been to these places but also suggest that they break the “dimensional boundary” between real life and anime. The picture below features my visit to Shimogamo Temple in Kyoto, an iconic spot where the anime “Eccentric Family” takes place.

A photo taken by myself in 2018, during my visit to Shimogamo Temple.

The scene in “The Eccentric Family” anime features using the exact same place.