No, too sweeping. Photographs can be evidence, emblems, certificates, or even agents of deception or miscommunication.Photography has always been a medium for communication.
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.The photographer has huge bias implemented in the image that they take and each image can have several meanings.
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.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.
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.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.
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.
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.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.
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.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.
Negative effect, yes, but remember it was a digital file that was manipulated not a photograph.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.
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.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.
All argument aside, photography needs active essayists and you, rhubarbcrumble, have ornamented this site with your dissertation. Thank you for your effort!