Philosophy, Photography and Errol Morris

Believing is Seeing book coverErrol Morris, the award-winning documentary director of The Thin Blue Line and The Fog of War, wants people to ask themselves “What is the truth of the photograph?” Believing is Seeing: Observations on the Mysteries of Photography is a collection of conversational essays where Morris analyzes the truth behind and psychological effects of four photographs. His subjects are photos from the Civil War, the Crimean War, the Great Depression, and Abu Ghraib, and his essays feel like detail-orientated detective stories. This is not a book about the beauty of photography. It is a meditation on navigating a culture of mass-image-manipulation with questions like “What is the difference between journalism and propaganda?” and “What is the difference between accuracy and truth?”