It took a long time for photography to be accepted as a legitimate art form. I suppose the vision, expertise needed, and the hand made craft behind photography drove this acceptance.
Now digital is emerging. The vision may be similar, expertise is different, and 'hand made' aspect disappearing. Will digital photography undo the acceptance of photography as a legitimate art form if there is no human craft involved? If anyone with a 30 megapixel point and shoot can snap well exposed images and make vibrant ink jet prints all within a few minutes, what will this mean for photography as an artform? If this new form of photography is going to eventually loose respect as a valid art form, then maybe traditional photography will be solely recognized as art. Maybe digital will eventually elevate traditional photography to another level? Will be interesting to see.
Yes, time will be the determiner of the future of photography as we know it. The condition that gives me great hope, however, is the tremendouse resurgence of the somewhat more antiquated expressions such as PT-PD, Bromoil, Albumen, Azo, among others. This tells me that the art of photography is alive and well.
I, for one, am looking to moving more toward ULF with one of the contact printing processes. Why would I consider doing that? I think that the further one distances themselves in methodology and result from the digital result, the greater the apparent disparity between digital and conventional photography. Quality is apparent...
I think that there is one other determiner of the future and that is the quality and the vision of what we portray. My five minutes on the soap box is over. I cede the balance of my time to the next practicioner of our art.
</span><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (Ross @ Jan 15 2003, 08:33 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> If anyone with a 30 megapixel point and shoot can snap well exposed images and make vibrant ink jet prints all within a few minutes, what will this mean for photography as an artform? </td></tr></table><span class='postcolor'>
But is that art? I know well exposed is important but what matters is what the artist wanted. What might be considered a badly exposed photo from a techincal standpoint might be good art.
I spent a few minutes looking at the photos of one person over at that place. All the comments went something like badly exposed. Crop out the overly bright sky. Etc etc. Now honestly they were right but let me describe the picture. An older couple [you can't tell how old. The real serious problem is the underexposed shadows-)] are walking towards the camera. They are walking on a wooded path. Behind them is a large bush or small tree. The tree is lit up I guess by the rising sun. The section above it is also fairly bright. If it had been done better what it would have said to me is an older couple refusing to surrender to the white light at the end of the tunnel.
All I'm trying to say it's not the techincal that really matters. It's the image and the feeling that's created. What you're talking about are just snapshots. Nothing wrong with that but it's not usually art. Perfect technique is important to have but it's not what makes something good.
It is certainly apparent to me that there are any number of interpertations in printing a negative. The first time that I saw a 11X14 contact print by Brett Weston I was dismayed. It violated everything that I had chosen to accept by the so called elite of the Zone system mentality. How dare he print something as so low in value that it showed no detail within portions of the image. That was over twenty years ago now and my sensibilities have somewhat improved...(his images certainly haven't changed). He was already dead at that time and his negatives had been destroyed so it is likely that the changes that occurred were within my sensibilities and my ability to appreciate what was there before me then. So to take an example that is posted on the internet, and probably poorly scanned at that, would seem to be poor parameter to be judging "snapshots" on.
Yes, I was talking about craft and while craft can never substitute for artistic expression, it (artistic expression) could not be expressed at all if it were not for craft. A true artist will seek the best possible means available to him or her to express that which is within them. Whether those are what some to deem as inappropriate or inadequate expressions or not. I appreciate the right of all to their opinion. Mine have been a long time in coming and fairly well thought through.
This one is a though one. Every time I see one of my 12x20 contact prints I wonder why would anybody want to sit behind a screen and do prints? IMO part of the enjoyment of the prints is the creating process, the magic of seeing the print appear. I compare digital to a tv dinner versus a home cooked meal. Both are edible....but somehow putting a tray in the microwave does not feel the same. Like tv dinners which have become quite good (some at least) I see digital becoming better and better, the work by Fokos and Burkholder is a good example. But I think there will always be people who enjoy the process as well as the end result. tv dinners did not do away with restaurants, and I dont see digital doing away with traditional photography, at least as an artistic medium.
I think that the fact that you can press a button and get 1000 prints the same, will elevate those prints made the old fashion way. Much like furniture, pieces made by hand command a much higer price than the ones you buy at any store. It is not that the handmade stuff is necessarily better. I think that people recognize that there is certain amount of love for the craft involved in making something which requires time and effort and care. Although both pieces can be quite beautiful, somehow I think the love for the craft is "transmitted" when one sees a well crafted image or piece of furniture. there is no virtue in difficulty, but there is virtue in loving what you create and seeing the entire process through.
No matter what the process, you still have to communicate a message, or a mystery to the viewer. you must make the viewer want to look again and again at the work and take time to contemplate its meaning. This takes vision, skill, knowledge and feeling on the part of the artist. People gravitate towards images that move them, nag at them and stick in their minds for a long time.
Digital will provide some of these images. The only probelm is you will have to sift through a lot of garbage to find them.
I'm not sure if I understand right, but he shouldn't be trying to print an inkjet on "regular photo paper". I'm sure that wouldn't be formatted to suit the inkjets requirements. I've printed some pics on my Canon S900 and comparing them to the original lab prints, I'd give the nod to the S900.
Well Aggie, I checked your instructors site and it just comfirmed my suspicions. Give anybody who can put together a web site a digital camera and they all of the sudden become "masters of photography". His images are some of the most boring and trite pictures I have ever seen, specially his "travel" pictures. This guy should have that digital camera cracked open on top of his head after that Stonehege picture he took.
My opinion, learn how to use your digital camera from him, but do not listen to any photo advice he has to give, it will make your photography worse.
I'm a new member to this site and so far found much interest here. I am hoping this does not turn into a "digital is satan" kind of forum.
I'm here because I use film and like to discuss issues relating to it, as well as general photographic technique. However, I don't see a reason to narrow-mindedly pigeon hole myself into an "analog only" niche.
Many of the great masters (most notably the grand poobah Ansel Adams) spent their lives diligently modifying and retouching their images, contrary to may purists of their day. They used the tools available to them then and there's no reason we would not use the tools available to us now.
To me the very thought of placing a limitation on artistic expression is an oxymoron.
I'm a great believer in using the right tool for the right job. I use a 4x5 view camera for most of my work to get the best neg/chrome possible, and I do use digital technology to process and print my work. I would challenge anyone who thinks that creating a fine art print using Photoshop is any less demanding or requires any less skill than traditional darkroom techniques. I will often spend hours and days agonizing over a drum scan to get it exectly the way I want.