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Photographing A Thought
2009-06-12 3:26

Browsing the internet I came upon a web log discussing thought photography, created by Fluffytek on Thursday, June 11, 2009.


She says that whilst on her extended bloggie break, she found herself preoccupied with a question: Is it possible to photograph a thought?

Summarizing, she did a fair amount of research into the concept, but came up with ‘precious few answers’, concluding that, although many attempts have been make, Thought-Photography is almost-impossible. The famous scientist Nikola Tesla, in 1933, announced that “a tremendous new power which was about to be unleashed.” He hoped to be able to photograph thought, by detecting neural feedback to the retina and emission of light. A camera, or ‘artificial retina’ would record the images. This, he believed would precipitate a social revolution. It failed, and several years later he died, with unfulfilled ambitions.

She goes on to say;

“I have no profound insights into Thought Photography to offer you, other than I wish I knew a sure-fire method of accurately capturing thought in a single frame. Perhaps this is beyond the capability of the camera as a tool. Maybe the apparatus is too limited, or perhaps the whole portraiture process is too easily influenced by viewer subjectivity to ever reliably convey real thought.

One last (rather peculiar) nugget that I want to leave you with today is the story of the only proven occurrence of Thought Photography.

In 1973, Lawrence Fried, the then President of the American Society of Media Photographers, photographed Uri Geller in a controlled experiment which aimed to prove that Thought Photography was possible (although not in the same way that I am referring to above.)

In the presence of two assistants and a New York Reporter who acted as witnesses, Fried put a lens cap over his lens and covered it with double layered duct-tape to make it entirely light-tight. Geller then held the camera in front of his face with the lens facing him and then repeatedly pressed the shutter. The resulting film was then immediately developed (still in the presence of witnesses.) The resulting photographs were slightly out of focus but the images clearly showed Geller himself, taken at the exact spot where the photograph had been conducted.

So…the moral of the story is that Thought Photography IS possible. The model just needs to be psychic. Or a genius. Or crazy. Or all three.

Feel free to try this experiment at home with your highly psychic models. Do let me know how you get on, won’t you?”


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