This ad for Graflex cameras wants you to take up a new hobby. Photography's great. Yes, back in 1948, even hobby-level photography probably meant developing your own pictures, which means you'd need a darkroom and some chemicals and, well, of course it's way simpler now that it's The Future. Duh. That's not news. What is news is the baffling picture they chose to feature in their ad.
Yes yes, that's not insightful or anything, but beyond the mere challenge of getting a discernible image down on film, there's the challenge of taking a well-composed or interesting picture.
What the hell is this, then? I'm not the Pope of Photography, but I do know a couple things about composition and stuff. Here's a boy behind a screen door, placed dead center in the frame. Kind of makes you cry, right? There must have been a huge pile of photos to choose from. Why this one? It must be artistically important for some reason. Graflex was a camera company, after all. You'd think they would know their shinola about nice picture. Let's just trust that this is a prize-winning picture, or at least prize-worthy, and try to figure out why...
-One in a series of photographs of superchildren by Arnold Pearson. Here, Lightning Rodney is photographed inside his Faraday cage, the only safe way he can interact with his family. Poor Lightning Rodney. So lonely, So positively charged.
-The boy has hidden behind the door, hoping to surprise his mother when she comes in carrying the groceries, including a carton of Faberge' eggs. The photo is significant because it captures the adorable stupidity of childhood: The boy doesn't realize that the eggs represent not only a significant achievement in the jeweler's art but also the investment of his parents' life savings. His little joke may result in the ruination of the carton of eggs, and his family's future. Also, he's hiding behind a screen door.
-The picture portrays mankind's necessary ties to nature, despite all our pretensions of sophistication. The boy has finished doing his business out in the yard and is ready to come back in and finish writing his sonnet "My Mother, My Apoplexy".