Photographs themselves have become so widespread, and their subject matter so
all encompassing that it has changed both what we think is worth seeing and, in
terms of ethics, what we think we have a right to see. For Sontag, collecting
photographs is like collecting the world in a cheap, portable and permanent form
(unlike moving images that go out). She describes the camera as ‘. . . the ideal arm
of consciousness in its acquisitive mood’ (p. 4). Yet despite being modern,
photographs are mysterious.