BetterPhoto Q&A
Category: New Questions

Photography Question 
Robert Bridges
 

Possible impact of digital imagry on epistomology


This question I want to raise has no one answer. I realize this prior to asking it.
I also understand that the question is not about technique or camera type at all but,
rather about the future. Not simply the future of photography per se but about how photographers (living and not yet born) and our children will see, understand,
and conceptualize the world down the road. Hence, its a philosophical question and a speculative question.

Digital photography is changing the way we see and hence understand our world.
In some case this change is radical. In others it is merely a tweak or a minor enhancement. For example, in the latest digital newsletter the first image is of a lemon which is no longer yellow. Other images follow all of which display a great deal of imagination and creativity while at the same time distort that which we used to take for granted as "really real." Its the " Forest Gump meets Richard Nixon
syndrome. Now, no one argues that photographers have always manipulated their images in one way or another. Be that dark room burning/dodging or, by the very subjective way we choose to frame a given subject. My question I suppose simply invites people to speculate, dream, imagine, visualize, etc how digital technology
is inevitably going to change the way we see .... the way we understand.....the ways
we come to know and thus navigate through the world which surrounds us.

I have no answers, I am simply seeking and in seeking blind - inviting others to join along. The "question" is not clear, nor is it elegantly stated. Hopefully that will change as some of you put in your two cents worth. So to restate the basic question: In what ways do you think/feel/imagine that digital technology has or is or will change our fundamental understanding of the world?

Rob


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5/17/2004 10:34:02 AM

 
Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/11/2003
gregorylagrange.org
  Are you asking opinions on how people are going to fake more things in the future and try to say they're real because of digital?


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5/17/2004 11:53:53 AM

 
Jon Close
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/18/2000
  IMHO, digital photography is having a far greater effect on how people see and understand photography (ie realizing that while a picture is worth a thousand words, those words do not necessarily have any truth or meaning); and a minor to non-existant effect on how they see and understand the world.


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5/17/2004 1:18:56 PM

 
Robert Bridges   No Greg, I am not asking how people will fake images in the future. I already know about that. What I am asking is how human understanding of the world may be fundamentally altered as a result of new technology. .Since the "reality"
of images can be so easily altered with digital techniques it stands to reason that how we fundamentally understand reality may also shift.

Jon, thanks.


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5/17/2004 3:42:33 PM

 

BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/28/2003
  iT'S AN INTERESTING QUESTION rOBERT.

dIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY IS REALLY JUST PHOTOGRAPHY. tHE WAY IN WHICH WE CHOOSE TO INTERPRET THE WORLD AROUND US MAY BE ENHANCED BECAUSE PHOTOGRAPHERS, GRAPHIC ARTISTS, AND OTHERS, CAN NOW FORCE A SPECTATOR OR "VISITOR" TO VIEW SOME ASPECT OF AN IMAGE THAT WAS NOT SEEN BEFORE; OR MAYBE THEY CAN MAKE YOU SEE THE THING FROM A DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE. I THINK IT IS POSSIBLE.

hOWEVER, WHAT I THINK MIGHT BE MORE POSSIBLE IS THE MORE TECHNOLOGY IS PUSHED AND PULLED, THE LESS THE "VISITOR" WILL BE ENAMOURED BY IT. aS AN EXAMPLE, WHEN PHOTOSHOP WAS FAIRLY NEW, I SAW IMAGES THAT LOOKED SWIRLY, OR REALLY SATURATED WITH COLOR TO THE POINT WHERE THEY LOOKED LIKE AN aNDY wARHOL PAINTING OR SOMETHING. bUT, NOW WHEN I SEE THAT, I THINK IT'S IMMATURE AND AMATURISH. aN ARTIST WHO WOULD DO THAT TO THEIR WORK IS NOT REALLY A SERIOUS ARTIST. hOW ARTISTIC IS IT REALLY TO GO TO A SIMPLE FILTER AND HIT THE SWIRL KEY?

sO, I THINK, IF I CAN TAKE A STAB AT THE FUTURE, WE WILL SEE ACTUALLY QUITE THE OPPOSITE OF WHAT WE SEE TODAY. wE WILL START SEEING MORE REALISM AND LESS EFFECTS. oH SURE, THERE WILL ALWAYS BE THE WILD ONES, WHO GO WAY OVER ON THE OTHER SIDE - SO FAR IN TECHNOLOGY THAT THAT'S THEIR THING. bUT, YOU WILL PROBABLY START SEEING PHOTOGRAPHERS REALLY WORKING HARD TO NOT TOUCH UP AND SHARPEN AND ENHANCE. aND, OTHER PHOTOGRAPHERS WILL BE LOOKING HARD TO SEE IF THEY CAN TELL IF SOMETHING WAS ENHANCED OR ADDED OR EXTRACTED OR STITCHED. (tO SUPPORT MY THEORY, i'VE RECENTLY SEEN SOME DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHERS WEBSITES THAT SPECIFICALLY STATE THEY ARE NOT PHOTOSHOP ENHANCED PHOTOS).

sO, TO ANSWER YOUR QUESTION, I THINK, MAYBE, YES. iT WILL CHANGE THE WAY WE SEE THE WORLD. wE WILL START REALIZING THAT PHOTOGRAPHY ISN'T ALL ABOUT POINT AND SHOOT AND FIX IT LATER, BUT RATHER IS AN ART THAT REQUIRES STUDY, PRACTICE, INTENSITY, PERSISTANCE, TECHNICAL ABILITY, AND NATURAL TALENT.

aND, I ALSO THINK THAT THE FOLKS THAT PHOTOSHOP WILL EITHER BE REALLY GOOD, TO WHERE IT NEEDED IT AND YOU CAN'T IMAGINE THE PHOTO WITHOUT THE ENHANCEMENT, OR NONE AT ALL.

dISCOLORMENT, SATURATION, WEIRD COLORED FRUIT, UNATURAL LOOKING THINGS MIGHT BE INTERESTING TO LOOK AT, BUT ARE REALLY UNNATURAL, AND THEREFORE THEY DO NOT STRIKE THE HUMAN PSCHYE IN THE SAME WAY AS PLAIN OLD NATURAL LOOKING PHOTOGRAPHY. iT'S JUST HUMAN PSYCHOLOGY.

bUT, THEN AGAIN, THAT'S JUST ME.

cHEERS,
jERRY


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5/17/2004 4:12:01 PM

 
Damian P. Gadal
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/22/2002
  Perception is reality - and I think a lot will come from what one brings to the table...

The world is a different place to the color blind, as it is to those from different cultures - I read a book in which the author describes the first time a Chinese refuge enters a Home DepotŪ and is overwhelmed by all the choices - hundred and thousands of variations of similar products...

I don't see the future of photography as being as profound as the invention of the printing press and mass literacy, which surely changed our views of the world... nor the invention of the radio (remember the War of the Worlds broadcast and the mass hysteria?) - Which paved the way for television and advances in film with its special effects....

When all is said and done, what matters is the individual piece of work and how it affects its viewer....


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5/17/2004 6:13:51 PM

 
Robert Bridges   Now things are getting lively here! One reason for posing a philosophical question is to think beyond the Fstop and the endless debate over what camera is better. The idea, in part, is to generate some thoughtful discussion as to "why" we photograph and "what" if any import it has. Jerry, to build on what you added I would add the provocative thought that perhaps "human psychology" is more adaptable then we might think and that our "psyche's" can - do - will - and must change as our technology and hence our ability to imagine worlds change. After all Freud only got people started thinking about the mind.

Damian, thanks for your input! And to your thoughts I would draw upon your own example of "perception is reality" and various inventions and their impact on our world. Instead of the chinese refuge in a home depot imagine a 10 yr old in a digital cyber holographic world.....As for TV and special effects in film....well we have come along way since the ape tossed the bone and it turned into a monolith.
Keep brain storming!


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5/17/2004 10:43:59 PM

 
Nancy Grace Chen
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/18/2004
 
 
 
There seem to be a lot of interpretations of your question, Robert. (:

I agree with something Damian said-- just as special effects have made us adjust our perception and realize that we can't believe everything we see and hear, with the advent of digital imaging will come more wary attitudes. We used to be able to believe that a photo was unquestionable proof, but that's just something we won't be able to do anymore.

Nancy
nance.c@poboxes.com
nacespace.com/photos


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5/17/2004 10:45:01 PM

 
Nancy Grace Chen
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/18/2004
  ...and this may be slightly off-topic, but I also find that it's difficult for me to believe when actual photos are truly unenhanced photos. Especially very impressive ones... my first thought is usually, "Yeah, right. I'm sure that was digitally manipulated." Then I find out that it wasn't. But how about the times that I wasn't corrected? I don't want people to be discredited for great photography just because people have become cynical.

Nancy
nance.c@poboxes.com
nacespace.com/photos


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5/17/2004 11:01:52 PM

 
Damian P. Gadal
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/22/2002
  I don't think the impacts of the "new" technology will be profound - people will adjust quickly, just as they have with the Internet medium. When you take a digital photo what have you done? You've used light to manipulate electronic sensors, which translate that information into bits and bytes - when you upload a photo do you really send anything other that an instruction set to tell another computer how to arrange that information that is then translated into an image, though our minds seem to think we're doing much more than that - like talking on a cell phone, we seem perfectly able to deal with several virtual realities simultaneously - and it's our perceptions of these events that become a reality....


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5/18/2004 7:15:47 AM

 
Robert Bridges   Hey Nancy and Damian - thanks to both for your thoughts. Nancy, I know that especially in photojournalism there is this a strong feeling and fear that digital manipulations will radically undermine the photo journalists work. Its not an un realistic fear. Which brings up the question of ethics when it comes to the manipulation of images......sad to say it does appear that ethics is sorely lacking among many (not all) within the news and information industries. Expediency seems to be the buzz word these days. "Hey so what if the pyramids don't really look that way lets just move them digitally so they fit the cover" - lets put John
Kerry with Jane Fonda. I felt bummed when I learned that Ansel Adams greatly manipulate "moon over hernandez."

Hey Damian, I seem to have got your attention - and you are getting mine. Was thinking that its probably way premature to do more then speculate on how digital technologies and web capabilities for that matter will impact the world in 10 -20 yrs
but its fun to imagine. A famous and little known sociologist once said: "Language effects what is socially, cognitively, and affectively experienced and reality is transformed by what is experienced." (something to the effect that language tells us who we are, what the world is, informs our perceptions of self and world and transforms both). As digital language becomes more household, and as the total ability of digital to create imaginal worlds with little or no "true" connection to
"reality" becomes more common place who is to say what we will come to accept as being real is? Blue lemons maybe just down the road and then they will make tea to go along with it! Anyway your thought encourage me to think too ...and here I am rambling. Must go!

Rob


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5/18/2004 10:31:10 AM

 
Damian P. Gadal
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/22/2002
  Who's to say that we can't Genetically Engineer lemons and make them a "reality"?

You're right about language - it is the foundation for reality and thought....

There is, after all, more than one type of snow.


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5/18/2004 10:48:26 AM

 
Damian P. Gadal
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/22/2002
  That should read Blue Lemons....


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5/18/2004 10:50:11 AM

 
Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/11/2003
gregorylagrange.org
  So you are talking about faking pictures.
But if somebody comes out with a way to make blue lemons, it won't be something that you can blame or give credit to digital photography. The idea may come from somebody seeing a digital photograph. But it will come from the same place that many things come from. A new gimmick to turn a fad into a way to make money.
Did all these orange people walking around come from somebody actually concerned about other people health? Or did it come from somebody's idea of a way to make money off of people's vanity about getting a tan from a bottle or some spray booth?


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5/18/2004 12:11:12 PM

 
Damian P. Gadal
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/22/2002
  I don't think the question has much to do with photography at all......


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5/18/2004 2:32:26 PM

 
Rachel T. Hammer
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/7/2004
  Before you can ask how photography will affect how we view "reality", you must first define "reality"...
What reality is is a vast, all-encompassing debate that has spanned centuries, and I do not think we need to go into it in great detail here. However, with the advent of digital photography and digital imaging software (photoshop, for example), the photographer has become less of a photographer and more of an artist, manipulating his/her world to suit him/her better. Therefore, I think that photography will become less viewed as a copy of the real world, and more of an interpertation of it, as photography progresses on from a science to an art.


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5/18/2004 3:04:29 PM

 
Damian P. Gadal
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/22/2002
  But is photograpy really art? It hardly seems so, any way you look at it, or in any sense of the word...


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5/18/2004 3:40:10 PM

 
Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/11/2003
gregorylagrange.org
  A question about digital photography affecting views seems like it's about photography.
If photography isn't an art, how is it not? If you're reducing it down to just pushing the button, then if you consider poetry art, then why isn't that reduced down to just being able to write?


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5/18/2004 4:27:15 PM

 
Damian P. Gadal
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/22/2002
  What are you creating with photography?

Nothing, you're capturing something, so yes, it is little more than pushing a few buttons.

With poetry you can create worlds that were never there before....


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5/18/2004 5:48:13 PM

 
Jill A. Johnson
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/20/2004
  hummm... just pushing a button... wow guess I am doing it all wrong all these years... I spend alot of time setting up the stage for my button pushing... I spend many hours in thought just like a writer placing the perfect things together to make it the best of what I see and want and hope to let others see... writing is a expression that makes it an art form... photography is an expression and makes it an art form... I create a world of ducks and birds and people and places and things... I do push a button just as a writer pushes a pen or keyboard keys... a writer creates and a photographer creates both are an art form... just as a writer goes into illustration hans a photograph goes into softerware to make his picture more vivid and alive for the minds eye that will view it... sometime it is not needed to add to a image you where able to set up to perfection... but sometimes that extra illustration is important to help fulfill that artists need of making sure everyone understands the plot of your photograph... oh gads.. sorry ... rambling... okaz as you can see I can go on and on... but no matter what I for one know that photography is an art form and should be respected as such...

Jill :)


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5/18/2004 6:22:57 PM

 
Damian P. Gadal
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/22/2002
  That sounds more like graphic design/art...

The photographer doesn't create a sunrise, just captures it...

But I don't think middle earth ever really existed, nor did Huck Finn.


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5/18/2004 6:30:42 PM

 
Jill A. Johnson
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/20/2004
  well this could be endless... lol
I have viewed some of your photography... and if all photography is clicking a button why do you zoom in or out or capture only one side of a view or only the eyes of a cat???... well am sure you get my point... I will let this be as is cuz thats that way I feel...
Jill :)


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5/18/2004 6:47:16 PM

 
Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/11/2003
gregorylagrange.org
  So Attack Of The Killer Tomatoes, Booty Call, Leprechan 1,2,3 and 4, and Debbie Does Dallas are art.
Drawing a line on a piece of paper is art.
Painting a single red circle on a canvas is art, not to be confused with the flag of Japan.


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5/18/2004 11:54:05 PM

 
Robert Bridges   Jill, what is your email? I would like to respond to your posts if I may?
Rob


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5/19/2004 1:11:00 AM

 
Jill A. Johnson
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/20/2004
  sure Rob... thetotalyou@sbcglobal.net
Jill :)


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5/19/2004 3:13:44 AM

 
Nicole Boenig-McGrade   "Special Effects, whether digital or film, are inspiring and appreciated Trends that come and go.
Original raw prints are Authentic Art that become true History for the Future.
It is the honesty and integrity of Human Kind we need to question."
Nicole McGrade


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5/19/2004 7:03:59 AM

 
liz read   Despite the fact that photo's could always be manipulated to some extent, digital of course made it possible for every level of person to get involved in changing "reality".

I don't think it is vastly significant. Painting at one time was the "photography" of it's time...and altho some of the early painters went beyond reality (Bosch) mostly it was a "literal" medium, recording as well as it could the "facts" in terms of portraits, buildings, places events. And the people who could and did paint, were a limited number. It was, like photography, EXPENSIVE!!!

Painting or representational art of any kind will always live in two worlds. There are the paintings which brilliantly capture reality, the FACTS of people and events...and then there are the "creations" which baffle the mind and challenge perceptions. BOTH exist and always will.

It's the same with photography. Digital just added a new angle and new potential for art and manipulation.

News photography? Me worried? Not at all. As with the written word which has enormous scope, journalism is only the written format of "verity". The same applies to photography in that media. So therefore, brilliant realism will never die...and creation will forever create.

Liz..


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5/19/2004 10:00:09 AM

 
Rachel T. Hammer
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/7/2004
  But, the question was, if we alter our reality with digital imaging software, will it alter the way we view reality?

I think it might make reality seem somewhat frivolous...and people will probably start to disregard it more and more as time progresses and the world crumbles and rots around us. People will (probably) become more and more wrapped up in their own little fantasies, and start to drift away from each other.

So we move from separation to togetherness to separation once more...

And still, no one has answered my original question (only about 150 posts before; don't worry, you won't find it). What is reality? We must define it before we can define how it might be altered...


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5/19/2004 12:25:20 PM

 
Damian P. Gadal
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/22/2002
  Again, perception is reality...


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5/19/2004 12:45:21 PM

 

BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/28/2003
  Damian, this is about 100% false. Not true at all.

The basis of this idea comes from a salesman who determined that what his customers thought about the service was in fact true, even if it wasn't. The reason was because if they thought the service was horrible, or good, it was to them.

However, I take strong exception to the way that people take this and morph it into things that just are not true.

As an example, denying that the earth is round, or thereabouts, does not make it flat. It doesn't matter what you think. Your perception is wrong if you think anything other than the fact that it is roundish.


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5/19/2004 1:49:58 PM

 
Damian P. Gadal
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/22/2002
  Our perception of the earth changed and we acknowledged that it was indeed round - but truth is subjective.

Fear can be very real, even when there is no basis for it, or love for that matter....


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5/19/2004 2:16:58 PM

 

BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/28/2003
  That reminds me of something...

There are no facts, only interpretations. -Friedrich
Nietzsche


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5/19/2004 2:27:32 PM

 
liz read   To Rachel H.
My finger burned out paging down - THAT's reality! No digital "games/art" won't change reality.
It is very, very simple.
It is JUST a new art medium and has nothing to do with the fact that some of us seem to think/suggest/imply that the photograph is the idol of reality and so inviolate.
It is just the same as every medium in art!!! "A rose is a rose is a rose" PDQ "A photo is a photo is a photo".
A rose is always rose, even if someone "sees" or paints it as a black square.
Same with photo/digital art. Why on earth should digital art change the visual perceptions of society that admired Picasso, comic book art, and adores the extension of comic book art/laughs at Kill Bill (altho I didn't).

Digital art is a blip on the horizon.
Art is art is art. A rose is a rose is a rose. Reality is reality reality.

It's presumptious to think digital art will do anything more than make the Bosch come alive.

liz......


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5/19/2004 2:38:43 PM

 
liz read   From Liz
Re Bosch - I meant Hyronimous Bosch - or however he spelled his name.
The definite article was an error.
Anyway what about Van Heffling or whatever, the new vampire movie?
Isn't that digital over-the-edge???
change my reality - like, duh!

Fact: the only thing digital is doing is making a lot of camera & software companies BAGS of money...and will continue to do so for at least the next ten years.

Fact: I wish I owned one of those companies.

And THAT is my Final Answer
Liz....


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5/19/2004 2:52:25 PM

 
Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/11/2003
gregorylagrange.org
  Speaking of paintings, there's a physics professor that came up with a very well supported theory that those very realistic paintings from whatever period is known for it, were actually tracings which were drawn with the use of lenses and/or mirrors, and then made into paintings.
Seems kinda ridiculous to say " we have to define reality" I think you were really looking at your computer screen when you wrote it.
And reality becoming frivilous because of a digital camera? Of all the fictional stories, movies, whatever, you think people has ever not wanted to hear an account of true, non-fiction story?
Some of yall sound like those people who say Madonna "reinvents herself" when all she does is change clothes and get a new hair style.


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5/19/2004 4:35:40 PM

 
liz read   Yes, I know about artist's using mirrors, reflections, etc for paintings.
Makes perfect sense to me!
AND they still do it using projectors etc etc etc
A pretty natural next step are the "silhouette" portraits.

I don't think I am knocking fiction or non-fiction/reality or "fantasy". I ADORE both - and can't wait to Van Heffling for the special effects.
I just don't think the ability to distort reality with digital programs is going to distort "our" perception of reality.
It hasn't done it up to now, and kids and people generally ADORE "unnatural" worlds, aka Grimm's Fairy Tales, Alice in Wonderland etc. Altho they are books, the minds eye sees some pretty crazy stuff!
That's it. I shall watch...I won't write.
liz....


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5/20/2004 9:29:36 AM

 
Michael Warnock
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/3/2005
  Here's the thing...

people have a habit of thinking linearly. Meaning, the sky is blue. An orange is orange. Chocolate is brown...

But what about "white chocolate"?

People know that its not chocolate at all. More accurately, it's white confection. You know chocolate isn't white and that white chocolate isn't chocolate. That's one example of people looking past the visual and the label and being aware of the truth that lies beneath regardless of face value.

And then there is the most linear thinking of all..."Are you asking opinions on how people are going to fake more things in the future and try to say they're real because of digital?"

I believe that digital imagery, by its very nature will force people to think outside of the box and be much more critical of what they see.

The lemon is still a lemon, no matter what color it is.

The challenge we face is in seeing beyond the pretty colours and blinking neon to determine the real message...sure, its a Guess Jeans ad, and if you look really hard you might be able to see the pair of jeans slung over the chair way in the background, totally out of focus but you know the message is NOT "buy Guess Jeans"...the message is "buy Guess jeans and you'll have half naked women hanging around waiting to get laid."

People are not stupid. In fact, I would bet that any future proloferation of digital-fakery will make people look that much harder for the truth.

In this day and age, decoding media and art ought to be a basic part of grade school ciriculum anyway.

Actually, Robert B., this is an excellent question. You have given me an idea...

Mike.


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2/6/2006 8:23:56 PM

 
doug Nelson   49 years ago, I was ten years old and could not put LIFE magazine down. I would run to the door and be the first to grab it and curl up in a chair, even behind a chair, to have my time with it. I was, and am, fascinated with the poetry of photographs, the decisive moment, the decisive angle, the right light combining to say the profound. The best most of us can do is a few such photographs in a lifetime.

People around me questioned the truth of photography. The local newpaper editors in Richmond, VA accused the organizers of the civil rights marches of purposely cutting the fabric of marchers' trouser so that it would appear that police dogs had ripped them. Even I knew better.

Documentary should be exactly that. We all rankle when we suspect an image that purports to be documentary is otherwise. John Kerry and Jane Fonda say they never really appeared together.

Art, on the other hand, represents reality in creative ways. The wildly negative reception that the French impressionists got initially is like some of today's consternation at manipulated photographs. Impressionism was initially a derogatory term.

Maybe what bothers me is that Claude Monet spent hours and days painting the cathedral at Rouen or haystacks in different light, and digital technology makes an almost infinite range of graphic effects possible with a few knowledgable mouse clicks. Digital has made competent image-making, and manipulation of images more accessible to more people. Exposure and focus, tonal and color control are not the mystery they once were. There are a few Monets in a museum near where I work. I go to spent time with Monet to see what he accomplished with deliberate, inspired brush strokes, how he was a master of his medium. The means to create, in the hands and minds of more people, can only be positive. You folks her at BP come up with some wonderful images, some manipulated in ways I would never think of, some straight shots.

We always have a lag time between new technology and a realization of its effects on us. Are we raising a generation of kids who can't distinguish between reality and the talking dogs/special effects/anime world of digital practitioners? Or are they smart enough to know that lemons aren't blue? Will they know that urban combat really isn't fun?


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2/7/2006 6:25:14 AM

 
Kevin Klassen   I don't think digital photography will have much of a impact overall. I think there has always been a blurring in imagery between fantasy and reality. I don't think it's so much that reality equals perception, but rather we see what we want to see. Threre are many things that make up a photograph besides the colored dots on paper. These include the perspective of the photographer and the expectations of the viewer.

I watch the news all the time even though I know that the images I am seeing are a highly subjective reality. There's still a perception that journalism shows reality, when in fact its pure entertainment. It's business. The news media know what people want to see and they deliver it. They don't need digital technology to do this, it's just another tool. Do I think that photo-journalists run off to the latest war zone because they are desperate to tell me the truth about the war. No, they are their to make a name for themselves.

I look outside my window and I'm not really inspired to go and photograph what I see. Same old boring trailer park. But I'm sure a good photographer could go look at the same thing and make a hundred interesting photographs. Yet I see pictures of slums in Calcutta or wherever and I think that would be an interesting place to see. Why? I'm sure it's not very interesting to the people that live there. It's perspective. People want to see a version of reality that is appealing to them, whether it is ditigally enhanced or not.

We like to see things that we can believe are real whether they are or not. Take plastic surgery. We've all seen pictures of people who have taken it too far, who look fake. But millions of people still do it, trying to create an enhanced yet believable "reality".
I could go on.

I guess maybe perception = reality but reality does necessarily equal truth.


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2/7/2006 11:20:03 AM

 
Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/11/2003
gregorylagrange.org
  THE LITTLE TO NO EFFECT SEEMS TO BE THE MOST VALID.


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2/7/2006 12:12:35 PM

 
Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/11/2003
gregorylagrange.org
  THE LITTLE TO NO EFFECT SEEMS TO BE THE MOST VALID.


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2/7/2006 12:12:35 PM

 
David Earls   Lots of intersting stuff here.

Also interesting that in forty responses, not one single person has mentioned that the word "epistemology" is mis-spelled in the original post. The word descends from the Greek "episteme", (e-pee-STEM-ay) which means "knowledge".

Perhaps a thread on the topic of knowledge should start out with knowing how the word is correctly spelled...;-)


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2/7/2006 3:32:36 PM

 
Bob Cammarata
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/17/2003
  It's funny that a simple typo brought this great discussion back into being.

Now that's REAL! ;)

It gave me an opportunity to peek into the future for myself and I'm a little unsure how this great art we all enjoy will eventually evolve....I guess only time will tell.


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2/7/2006 4:08:40 PM

 
David Earls   Bob,

I agree that this has been an interesting thread; I'd love to see it come back to life, too.

"Knowledge" will evolve. The Greeks didn't have computers, but they invented some pretty cool stuff - most of it forgotten, even more of it ignored. We seem to be in more of hurry to acquire new knowledge than to consider the old - which is, of course, exactly the same things the Greeks were guilty of.

My be just you and me from here on out - ;-)


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2/7/2006 5:33:24 PM

 
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