However, *I* often say it should be so defined. A lot of confusion might have been avoided if digital had continued to be called "imaging" or some similar term versus traditional "photography." That wouldn't invalidate the former, but it would help demarcate them a bit better. One art is distinguished from another by process, not artifact. Otherwise, "photo-realistic painting" would be the same art as photography, and it clearly isn't. For commercial work, it's the artifact, the finished product, that is defining. Are we talking about art or commercial photography? I include selling the ability to take snapshots of the vacation and kids to the general public as commercial in this case. It sure ain't art.
So, if I use my DSLR to produce an image of my kids that I put on Facebook, it's a photograph, because it's "commercial", and it's the artifact that counts. But if I use the same process to produce an image that is sold in an art gallery, it's not a photograph, because it's "art", and it's the process that counts? Seriously?
Whoever labeled Man Ray's photograms "cameraless photography" must not have gotten the memo.
I started photography with digital (was never interested in photography as a young 'un) and after being fed up and disillusioned by digital, got into film. I would explore other avenues of "analogue" photography before going back to digital. Maybe Daguerreotypes?
I've been fascinated by Michael Wolf's large format digital work for a while now - almost in spite of myself. His images embrace digital imaging in such a way that gives me hope about a possible filmless future - http://www.photomichaelwolf.com/transparent_city/ They are conceptually bound to the technology in a way that excites me.
The problem for us potentially making the move is that there's a leap of faith to be made in embracing the strengths of digital, rather than doing the same old thing and trying to emulate the film look - to the detriment of our photographs. Manipulation with digital images is always a veil which is the very reason Photoshoppery is becoming a seperate creative enterprise or... art form.
My main problem with digital photography is that nearly everything I've seen suffers from an identity crisis - digitalists are inhibited by that nagging urge to turn their images into CGI. There is a fine line that is so easily crossed once an image is on a computer and we're slowly learning to differentiate between 'image' and 'photograph'. The best digital 'photography' I've seen, like Michael Wolf's, unashamedly smacks you in the face with its straight to the point, no frills clarity. That overwhelming hyperrealism is what marks digital images as photographs and for me, this is when they excite me most. When digital is so bold as to rely on its massive resolving power to tell the story, it almost experientially heightens your awareness and the subtlety becomes apparent after that initial rush of adrenaline. With megapixels going up by the day, eventually constructing an image will be akin to building Rome. If this means we'll spend more time looking at photographs, then digital will be doing a great service for the evolution of photography as art. Isn't the biggest creative challenge of our medium to keep them looking?
The fact that we're so aware of how different digital is means we should be optimistic that it will eventually become a separate and identifiable strand of photography with its own conventions and standards. I don't think it's a steam roller trying to take us all out.
Last edited by batwister; 06-10-2012 at 09:37 PM. Click to view previous post history.
The fact that we're so aware of how different digital is means we should be optimistic that it will eventually become a seperate and identifiable strand of photography with its own conventions and standards.
Maybe we should be looking at the MANY ways analog and digital photography are the same.
My main problem with digital photography is that nearly everything I've seen suffers from an identity crisis
My main problem with digital photography is the cost of the equipment. If I ever sell my film cameras, the biggest will be the first to go. I'll keep the Hasselblad because I know that at some point the prices for digital backs for it will enter the realm of the possible for me.
If Fuji, and Kodak, and the others decided to stop making film because it was no longer profitable - and your hoarded stock in the chest freezer ran out.... would you give up photography completely? Or start buying megapixels?
That is interesting - I'm just looking at the eBay site selling efke bulk rolls. You actually have to pay and then wait until January 2013 before you can get your roll! That is due to "increased sales demand", as they say. My understanding of economics may be limited, but even so it's hard to relate such demand with a product being unprofitable. Perhaps Kodak was too big for current demand, but the small producers are not?
As regards to the main question here - of course I wouldn't, I shoot both film and digital anyway. (As much as I prefer film). I suppose if film was really to disappear (which I don't think likely, see above) we'd see more and more digital technology aimed at "mimicking" the film experience. (As already indicated by the PS filters that mimic specific emulsions, the absolutely massive "instagramization" of digital photography, and all these digicams that were made to resemble old-fashioned rangefinders... perhaps even the appearance of monochrome-only Leica is another sign of that, albeit aimed at the really well off).
“I am an amateur and I intend to stay that way for the rest of my life.” André Kertész