CAE тест онлайн: Чтение и практика (Часть 5)
Прочитайте отрывок из романа. Выберите подходящий вариант ответа (A — D) для вопросов 31-36. Во время экзамена перенесите ваши ответы на отдельный экзаменационный лист.
You are going to read a newspaper article. For questions 31 – 36, choose the answer (A, B, C or D) which you think fits best according to the text.
LIFE THROUGH A LENS
Angela Woods explores the role of the camera in life today.
Nowadays most of us own a camera of some kind and their use is no longer reserved for holidays and children’s birthdays; the modern photographer has more grandiose ambitions. The desire to capture (line 07) special moments for posterity persists, but the brief has been extended. Every moment seems special and, as a result, amateur snappers are busier than the professionals. Whether we’re taking pictures of a hotel sink for a travellers’ website or beating the paparazzi to a blurry shot of a minor celebrity in the street, we’re constantly snapping rather than looking.
Yet somehow, the images lack significance. In the past, our favourite photos went beyond surface likeness and captured the essence of a person or place. And as well as bearing witness, photography once raised consciousness. When I was growing up, photographs often seemed more powerful and persuasive than words. The ones I’ve amassed on my hard drive in the last few years seem vacuous by comparison. My holiday snaps may be neatly composed following readily available expert advice, but they feel blank. The Florida sunsets seem like photographic clichés. The images of African landscapes speak blandly of a predictable taste for going off the beaten track in search of the ultimate photographic experience.
And what of the other side of the coin: being photographed ourselves? As a child and teenager, if it had been acceptable, I would have lashed out when someone pointed a camera at me. The resulting pictures would have been more authentic than those where I tried to cover up my horror of being photographed. I would strive to look deep, instead of angry, and gaze into the middle distance. Refusing to meet the camera’s gaze was an attempt to retain control over how I was portrayed. Having since read the great Roland Barthes’ book, Camera Lucida, I understand better what I was up to. Barthes shared my desire to look intelligent in photos and he hoped his expression would convey ‘an amused awareness of the photographic process’. Whether we succeeded, the underlying urge was surely to prevent the camera gaining possession of our identities.
When I first started in journalism, the writer’s photo at the head of an article was invariably tiny. Things have changed, however. Newspapers and magazines are now full of unattractive people looking wryly amused to find themselves pictured alongside politicians and celebrities. Journalists tend to look terrible in pictures, but editors believe this makes them more appealingly real than airbrushed celebrities. They are marketed as normal people whom readers are meant to identify with, though they are usually far from normal. Some interpret this trend as a sign that journalists are more valued now, but the reality is that we have become lowgrade operatives rather than creatives. Words are now used to illustrate the pictures rather than the other way round.
Magazines and newspapers with more and bigger photos in them appear to suit young people’s enthusiasm for photography. Most of my younger friends have hundreds of photos on their phones. The interesting thing is that they all seem attracted to subjects that would once have been deemed unworthy of being photographed. Avoiding clichés seems to be the impulse, though whether this is being achieved must be in question if they are all doing the same thing.
A colleague of mine recently showed me how he’d photographed a rather unpalatable plate of meatballs, rather than the grand old architecture of a restaurant. This was followed by his snaps of a holiday in Yosemite National Park in the USA. Not bothering with the spectacular mountain scenery, he had photographed signs about not feeding the wild bears. As he showed them to me, I felt I had seen them before somewhere.
I often wonder what the everpresent lens is doing to my children and their generation. Kids’ TV programmes encourage children to send in photos of their parents in undignified positions or displaying a dubious sense of (line 81) style, and reality programmes dominate TV schedules. Adults might see through such things with a smug sense (line 83) of detachment, but we don’t know what the long-term effects on younger minds might be. Doesn’t constant snapping reduce spontanaeity? The world gets worn out by being photographed and its inhabitants, like me, do as well. Will my kids end up deeply jaded too, or (line 88) because they are growing up behind and in front of the camera, will they have a natural immunity to it? It remains to be seen.