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Word Count: 527
Aesthetics is the branch of philosophy that studies the nature of the beautiful and the pleasing and includes the study of art Photography is among the most modern forms of art and its accessibility should not discount its merit as an art form Man is taking a lifelong journey in pursuit of understanding and along this path art plays a central role Man derives more pleasure from extracting meaning from the subtleties of life than being served a plate of dry facts Photography is an effective tool that not only increases understanding of the world but is in fact necessary to recognize understand and appreciate life In her essay On Photography Ms Sontag seems to imply that the only way to be a competent thinker is to experience everything in life firsthand Not only is this goal unrealistic but unnecessary It self-righteous to think that simply by witnessing a real event or place in the flesh a person can perfectly understand its significance Photography allows the astute historian to freeze a moment in time From there he has the opportunity to fully grasp the moments importance by researching the sociopolitical climate cultural situation of the times and gain historical perspective all the while using the photograph as a visual aid Life should be lived for moment but moments are fleeting Only through analyzation and thoughtful interpretation can a person truly understand anything Visual images can enhance a societys understanding of the world around them by giving a representation that brings a story alive Many forms of art have been embraced by cultures throughout history The early Christian church relied on pictures of biblical figures to explain religion Great works of art depict defining moments of history Photography has the merits of the classical arts and future generations will remember the present world by the images we leave behind Historians will someday look back on the rich visual story photographers have told
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