Quote Originally Posted by rhubarbcrumble View Post
Just a short essay I wrote about the traditions of photography in anyone is interested.
I posted it on another forum and all they did was complain about sentence structure etc etc, I just want to post it to start discussion really, not ripping the essay apart. I got 18/20 for it anyway.

Hope you find it interesting, cheers.

Tradition plays a major part in most societies and cultures around the world. Tradition is a cultural activity that has been practiced within the particular community that has celebrated it for many years. Tradition is implemented in most cultural activities and societies around the world. This essay will be talking about the tradition in photography.

In it’s most basic sense, tradition in photography can be looked at as pictures that have been taken on a camera that uses black and white film and then developed by hand in a darkroom.
You could look at photography this way but there is a strong argument that you are wrong. Cameras, black and white film, and darkrooms are merely technical adaptions to the basic properties of photography which reside in the capacity of a light sensitive surface to become transformed into picture forming marks. When I audit my own consumption of photographic materials I find only a minor fraction of it involves cameras and uses film.

Photography has always been a medium for communication.
No, too sweeping. Photographs can be evidence, emblems, certificates, or even agents of deception or miscommunication.

The photographer has huge bias implemented in the image that they take and each image can have several meanings.
Photographers offer no more bias than anyone else who makes anything. One could argue that a photograph offers less bias than a painting or drawing because a photograph has a non-optional physical relationship to the thing it depicts. Should a picture receive multiple interpretations that is a problem or entertainment for its audience.

Ever since photography has been around (circa 1840)(http://www.photohistory-sussex.co.uk/dagprocess.htm) it has been used for telling stories and documenting the world. Photographers such as Henri Cartier-Bresson and Ansel Adams were two of the earliest documenters and started the tradition of story telling with photographs.
Your reading of the work of Henri Cartier-Bresson and Ansel Adams is not at all convincing and I think tougher scholarship would lead to different conclusions.

Since the implementation of modern technology and more importantly digital cameras photography has seen a loss of tradition. The base of traditional photography, 35mm black and white film is quickly being eradicated and is now seen as inconvenient and slow when compared to the speed and accessibility of colour film or digital cameras.
This is APUG and I think you should encounter an idea that digital cameras do not make photographs; pictures, yes, but the pictures are not photographs.

The idea that 35mm black and white film, a relatively recent form, is the base of traditional photography would be hard to sustain against the historical evidence.

One of the key traditions emerging in modern photography is that of image manipulation. In our society it is rare to see an image which hasn’t been digitally altered to some extent. Of course photographers who shot on 35mm black and white film could alter their photographs with darkroom equipment, altering the contrast and brightness and even creating powerful advertising campaigns. (reference steve bronstein, special effect photography) but it couldn’t be done to the extent and ease it is done today.
Making photographs in the darkroom is not manipulation. Manipulation implies a picture is distorted from its native form by some subverting force. Photographs have no native form save what the subject, sensitive materials, and processing deliver. Things like density and contrast come naturally and inevitably from making rather than manipulating.

Nowadays with powerful computer programs such as photoshop we have to question images in wether they are telling the truth or not as image manipulation is so easily done.
Again, if you unweave photography and digital picture-making the capacity of computers to do pixel pushing and synthesise images has nothing to do with photography.

This has a huge impact on mass media in that an image can be altered to provoke a more emotional response from the viewer. For example in 2003 Brain Walski a renowned photojournalist for the LA times took two images and merged them into one to create a more dramatic scene. (http://www.famouspictures.org/mag/in...Forgery_-_2003)
At the time this caused a huge controversy finally resulting in the photographer Brian Walski being fired and the LA Times reputation diminished. This is proof of one of the major negative effects and downsides to ease of photo manipulation.
Negative effect, yes, but remember it was a digital file that was manipulated not a photograph.

With the rapidly evolving technologies of digital photography replacing the old traditions of black and white film, we are seeing a continuous loss in the beauty of photography or the decisive moment. It is being replaced by this new tradition of using digital technology and cameras to show the world what we are doing. Nowadays everyone who has a mobile phone has a camera, everyone who has a camera uploads their photos to facebook or other social sources to show everyone else what they’ve been doing. We now live in a ‘snap society’ where pictures and moments are crudely snapped instead of capturing the decisive moment. With people taking such rudimentary photographs which hardly tell a story it leads to people needing to ‘snap’ more and more images in order to tell the story. In years to come we will see 35mm film be completely eradicated and the new digital world take over and form it’s own traditions.
No, I think digital picture-making will be recognised for what it is: a facile way of confecting pictures. And photography with all its physical truth, beauty, power, and excitement will continue to offer its singular and unique appeal.

All argument aside, photography needs active essayists and you, rhubarbcrumble, have ornamented this site with your dissertation. Thank you for your effort!