Today’s topic: Can a camera truly capture a moment in time when it is unable to capture itself or its user in that moment?
I think it can, and as for the rest of the question, why would the camera need to capture “itself” or the “user” in that moment? I don’t think that is the point. The image the camera is to capture is an interpretation by the user, and the camera itself is the means by which that interpretation is captured as an image.
The emotion a good photographer can “capture” on film is there just as plainly as something tangible is. Those are the photos that win prizes, and that is what those of us who strive to be successful photographers try to achieve.
The principles behind a camera obscura are attributed to an ancient Chinese philosopher, who described his invention as a “locked treasure room,” among other things. An exotic, but intriguing, idea. A modern camera could be seen as a room or box filled with treasures, or at least a doorway to a treasure of images, just waiting to be captured.