Quote Originally Posted by Maris View Post
Digital pictures do not replace photographs made out of light sensitive materials.

There is a deep and somewhat abstract philosophical reason for deliberately choosing not to look at digital pictures but rather actively to seek out genuine photographs. It is precisely the same reason for preferring photographs over paintings, drawings, and digital print-outs of one kind or another. All those non-photographs (paintings, drawings, digi-pix) have the identical property that they are assembled piecemeal by a mark maker device working according to coded instructions. The coded instructions may be entirely or partially synthetic and their relationship to the subject matter of the picture is in the nature of description or testimony. We believe the picture only if we believe the picture maker.

There is a very small set of alternative image making processes that do not use coded instructions. These include life casts, death masks, brass rubbings, coal peels, wax impressions, and photographs made of light sensitive materials. In every case the relationship between image and subject is direct and physical and has the nature of evidence rather than testimony.
I believe photographs, the real ones, the ones generated by light altering a sensitive surface, because I believe that the laws of laws of chemistry and physics run their course reliably when no hand or mind intervenes. Testimony doesn’t come into it because a photograph has a genuine indexical relationship to its subject. In consequence of this a photograph constitutes an existence proof of the thing photographed. Not so with digital...or painting, or drawing.

Importantly, none of this well founded belief in the indexical qualities of original photographs grants me leave to be foolish or simple minded about what I think I see when looking at them.

Hi Maris,

I do more than a little interpreting in my darkroom. Basically, if you believe my photographs you'd be wrong, as they usually bear only passing resemblance to the actual scene. My world is more moody. How do you think that fits in?