Wednesday, April 18, 2012

When is a Photo No Longer a Photo?

Today's world is so advanced in the technology department especially when compared to when I was a kid!  I remember having my little 110 mm camera, shooting all the photos in just a few minutes. Sometimes I would use that weird 4 x 2 rectangle block of flash bulbs that snapped into the top of the camera. Then I would beg and plead to drop the film off at the corner "drug store".  Waiting, waiting for mom to fill out the envelope and rip off the stubs. Those stubs were like winning lottery tickets.  I would check on them constantly to make sure I still had them.

The week it took to develop the film was agony; pure agony!  Once the stubs were handed over to the clerk, crinkled from being gripped with deadly force, the package was picked up, and the photos... the photos were like gold.  Going through them over and over, I remember thinking that no one else in the whole wide world had photos like these. The anticipation of seeing the photos, back then, was the most thrilling thing to me.

Now, if it doesn't turn out, push a button or sequence of buttons and it is gone; like it never existed.  Sometimes you can just "fix it later". There are programs out there for your computer that can change a picture of an ordinary object into a photograph of the Sistine Chapel in a matter of a few hours (maybe even minutes, depending on how much of a perfectionist you are).

Found this on my tumblr feed... kind of relevant?  Photo by Mat Baker    
Are they still photographs?  They started out that way, but are they?  Some call it "digital art" or "digital painting" which is fine by me, at least the editing is being acknowledged.  People aren't wondering "how" that was done, but wondering "which program" was used. It is the new standard.  It would be strange NOT to edit digitally in some way!

Don't get me wrong... the only reason I am not using an elaborate program as that is because I am broke.  If I had the money, I would be all over it! Instead, I use a little cropping and chopping provided by Microsoft (it came with the computer I have) and call them "original photographs".  No film is involved in my photography.  Just a little digital camera taking digital photographs, altered digitally then sent digitally to my digital marketplaces.  Then, with any luck, you like one or two and send me a little money, digitally.  It is the world we live in!

What do you think? Keeping up with the times or cheating?

To see photo credits and corresponding article for the above baby picture use this link...

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