Well, I once took an art course from a very talented painter. This guy did a series of pencil drawings that totally stunned us. He created by hand an artificial television screen on paper. Then using a magnifying glass, filled in each rbg dot on that screen to produce a final image. The effect was like looking at a TV screen, but it was a drawing. Each one took him months to create. They sure were something to see and I can't imagine his patience in creating these works. I felt there was a lot of value in his creation. The time involved to create such a work and the subject matter were brilliant. It was hand crafted by a human being. Now suppose some guy takes a digital photo, opens it into photoshop, applies a distortion filter and makes the image look like something that would appear as a tv set. Then he applies a TV filter, and voila, he has an image exactly like my art professor. He prints it out on an iris jet printer. The whole process from image capture to print takes him 1-2 days. Now lets say both images are put in a gallery. 1 is titled hand drawn sketch and the other is titled digital image, iris jet print. Which would you say has more value as a work of art? These are the questions I like to probe. I fear that the digital revolution is removing the human condition from artistic craft and creation. The iris jet may be sharper and more vibrant and have great subject matter, but is it valuable to mankind as a human achievement? Is the human condition not a major step in the making of art? Are we trading our human condition for convenience?
I definitely do not think that film is dead. Nor do I think that digital will demean the art aspect of film. Many of the same arguments could have been applied with the advent of all of the "cheap snapshot" film technologies that have appeared, and sometimes disappeared (remember Disk cameras?) over the years.
When documenting material failures, I can still do far more in film than digital. Somebody wants to see a quick picture of a failure? Great. Pull out the digital picture, snap a few shots, and send them off by e-mail. I want documentation or help in an analysis? Film all the way.
Yes, photography will become more available, but having a digital camera and photoshop don't help with composition, exposure, lighting, mood, or emotional impact.
Digital will, in time, come to compliment film and to expand our art, but it won't displace it any time soon.
Ross is that any different then what photography did when it came out? I thought one of the things that happened was photo realistic painters got shown the door. Some how it wouldn't surprise me the same thing happened to the guy doing cave paintings when new methods came about.
Certain types of painting ended up moving towards photography. They didn't tend to be art. It wouldn't surprise me if this was one of the things that created the view that photography wasn't art.
I wonder if the better question would be when did photography become art? What will it take for digital works to achieve the same thing?
Gary, if your photos were created first then I owe you a huge apology! As far as tailoring your photos to satisfy an already established client list, there is no way to say it is "bad or evil". It is simple supply and demand which I certainly understand. Maybe I came off as being harsh, but I had already worked myself up to "get the professor" so to speak. Maybe next time I should make sure who I aim at before taking a shot at him.
I guess the bottom line is that art evolves, and some of the species choose to remain the same. We've gone from cave man drawings, to digital images. But many still choose to make cave man style drawings, or paintings, sketches, etc. I would imagine the next step will be removal of the medium which holds an image. We'll just have the image beamed directly into our visual cortex. Then we'll experience the scene as if we were actually there, even smells might be included. Even when that level is reached there will still be digital photographers, traditional photographers, sketch artists, etc. Hard to believe a 3 letter word "ART", can be so complex to explore.
</span><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (SteveGangi @ Jan 16 2003, 12:25 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> Gary, if your photos were created first then I owe you a huge apology! As far as tailoring your photos to satisfy an already established client list, there is no way to say it is "bad or evil". It is simple supply and demand which I certainly understand. Maybe I came off as being harsh, but I had already worked myself up to "get the professor" so to speak. Maybe next time I should make sure who I aim at before taking a shot at him. </td></tr></table><span class='postcolor'>
You can go into that old post and edit it if you like Steve. I think people had their tomahawks out for the wrong guy... http://apug.org/forum/html/emoticons/ohmy.gif
I think I will leave my original post as is, since "the world" has already seen it. No way to take it back since it has already gone out and been read by whoever cared to see it. It's not the first time I stuck my foot in my mouth and I am pretty sure it won't be the last. We can say it's my own personal reminder to LOOK before I attack. I still think that other guy, the college professor (whoever he was) is totally full of $h!t.
Ever the Elitist Luddite (everyone take a drink),
Truth be told, it's hard to produce something of lasting value in any medium. Digital techniques make certain things easier (give me the Photoshop cloning tool over an airbrush and set of retouching pencils any day!), but they don't make vision any easier. There is cliche in all media, and I've seen some really fine digital work.
In color, a drum scan and Lightjet print is really a potential improvement over most techniques, with the possible exception of dye transfer, but it's not really easier, and it certainly isn't cheaper. Good work still requires effort. I've seen LightJet and Lambda prints that look like crap. It's not as if you just pop the slide in a machine and out comes a brilliant print.
In B&W there is some very impressive work done in digital media, but the prints look different from prints done in other media. I just think of it as another kind of output like bromoil or platinum or gum bichromate or silver or photogravure. I have no interest in using inkjet or digital-C print for my own B&W work, but I won't deny that I've seen some good work that uses those materials.
The traditional guys think of digital as "another kind of output", but this new digital crop think all forms of digital are "photography". I guess we could argue the semantics of the word 'photograph' for days on end. One thing I can't stand is seeing a digital illustration being called a photograph. I've seen some majorly enhanced images. You know the type -a glowing girl with added birds flying all around her, a few added buildings in the background, purple sky created, a moon added, some clouds cloned -and at the bottom of the image says "photograph by _______". http://apug.org/forum/html/emoticons/sick.gif
Composites like that can still be done with negative sandwiches, masking, stripping-in, and airbrushing to smooth the rough edges. Is it more of a photograph if it was done with traditional methods? Much of what Photoshop can do was all common in the graphic arts trade before digital. Manipulation is manipulation. Perhaps the real debate is between "manipulation" and "straight photography," but that's an old question.