Since the global pandemic hit last year, many of us saw our photography derailed or even ground to a halt. As a result, we were confined to either refining our workflow, practicing editing with old photos or learning new skills instead of shooting. Whichever the case, if you’re in the mood for more learning, the insights of French literary theorist and philosopher Roland Barthes on photography may inspire you.

In the latest video above, Jamie Windsor introduces us to “Camera Lucida,” a short book of Barthes’ philosophical musings on photography that was first published in 1980. Among the terms and concepts that caught Windsor’s attention are “Studium” and “Punctum” — the cultural and personal meanings behind photos respectively. He also delves on the problem that Barthes found on the disconnect between the perceived meaning of a photo and the emotional connection that viewers experience.

A lot of us may not be familiar yet with these terms or Roland Barthes’ insights on photography. But Windsor’s exploration of the topic provides a good explanation on why viewers may feel differently about our work. This reality is something that we experience knowingly or otherwise, even as viewers of other photographers’ works.

This topic is definitely an interesting topic for a discussion. So, why don’t you leave your thoughts in the comment below, or chat with us in the Photofocus Community