• Bhang, Youngmoon

About the visual experience - with the photos of Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi, UAE

The Sheikh Zayed Mosque, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, which I visited in 2017, was a subject that allowed me to experience each inconsistency that comes from visual experience, visual recording - such as photography, videography -, memory and reaffirmation.


During the visit, I fell in love with the excitement of the world's fourth-largest mosque and the sound of prayers resounding at night, taking pictures of the places. However, the huge mosque did not come into my camera frame. Because I always take photo without wide-angle lenses. Most wide lens that I have is 35mm/2.8, it is same as before, I mean, when I visited Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, 35mm lens was widest angle of mine. I immediately thought that I should separately take some photos of the mosque and I stitched the photos.


The Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi, UAE

The fact of our memory is that memory is the imagination of the past. The mind is not the neutral recording device, and memory is biased in any sense. Nick Chater points out that our thought is fiction, it create every moment. A profound feeling such as the depth of the unconscious world is not because it is difficult to describe, but because we humans have no such thing as mental depth. In this way, we always ignore the fact that the self is blurry and ambiguous, and that the collision of the reason and the emotion is not a collision of reason and emotion, but merely a collision of different thoughts. At this point, we already find out very important fact. Why we can’t find our own true-self? Because, there is no true-self in us. We only have a sort of floating matter in our mind. It’s blurry and obscure as it is.


As the philosophers of psychology Kourken Michaelian and Denis Perrin of the Grenoble Alpleri Üniversitesi (Université Grenoble Alpes) in France said, “Memory is to imagine the past.” Numerous evidence suggests that our memories in reality are a clever mixture of fact and fantasy(I found this from <Skeptic> magazine).


Like this way, the human imagination is moving toward the past and the future. Perhaps the main function of human imagination is to predict the future that maximizes the probability of success of an action based on information gathered through past experiences?


There are some methods that are commonly used in photography. This photo is a kind of mosaic, which is a little different from the panoramic photography, and is made by stitching photos taken from several places in Sheikh Zayed Mosque. If you go to this place after looking at this picture, you gonna get a very different feeling. This is because the angle of view used and the method of shooting were intended to ignore the usual optical recording, and it was intended not to be seen as distorted as it was. In fact, when you stand here - at this vantage point -,you get the feeling that the central dome is right in front of your nose.


The equipment I used for this shot was a 35mm frame camera and a 35mm lens. Considering the range covered by a 35mm lens in a typical angle of view experience, subjects shot with such a deadpan angle of view are far from real. However, in this photo, several sheets are stitched together, it creates a kind of illusion of distance. Which means, this feeling of distance is totally unreal.


Since the word 'memory' has been used over and over in many meanings over the past few years, I may have come to think that it is better not to give too many meanings to ‘the figment' of an imaginary product.

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