Benjamin states, “reproduction as offered by picture magazines and newsreels differs from the images as seen by the unarmed eye,” (4). I agree. This image of mountains offers me a sliver of it grandeur beauty. I cannot completely experience the “aura” that Benjamin remarks about (6). I can relate the clouds behind the mountain to the clouds I’ve seen at Mt. Hood. I can imagine the smell of the crisp air, similar to the air I’ve experienced before. However, I am not actually at this place. If the environment had a new sense it could offer me, I would not be able to experience it. I wouldn’t know if the mountains offered a sulfuric smell that would create nostalgia, or if the rocks are as sharp as they seem. I believe to fully experience the aura that the environment offers; all of my senses must be stimulated.
The reproduction of this image only offers my eyes a piece of its aura. One cannot interact with this environment. Benjamin similarly compares this with a live performance versus a movie, “the audience’s identification with the actor (film) is really an identification with the camera,” (8). Using this photo I’m identifying past experiences with the image the camera allows me to see. If I was actually there, I could feel the different effects that the environment would have, a change in weather perhaps. Resulting, in different emotions I would experience from interacting with the environment. Benjamin states, “For aura is tied to his presence; there can be no replica of it,”(8).