The latest episode of The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows defines the word vemödalen, a sort of frustration one experiences when photographing something interesting that has already been photographed thousands of times by others. The video demonstrates the phenomenon with numerous strikingly similar photos taken by different photographers, leaving the photographer to wonder about the value of actually taking a new picture.
I was on a tour of this ancient underground city in Cappadocia, and after taking a few poorly lit photos of the haunting chambers, I decided I could skip the snapshots and just buy a book of postcards later. What’s the difference whether I took them, if the subject was the same? So then, a photo is basically like an IKEA product, a kind of prefabricated piece of art that you happened to have assembled yourself.