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Sunday, May 18, 2008

it's all photoshop to me -- on film and reality

Well, I thought about pre-posting (aka future posting) a few entries, but then I decided against it. So, you all got a break from me, while I got break from computers and some days, even technology, well, except for my camera. ;-D

I did finally fully migrate from film to digital. I'm still not sure I buy into the whole "death of film" idea, but at some point the cost of developing, the lack of good film developers, and the lack of film, in some cases, contributed to my feeling that it was time to migrate. I used to buy film at the film shop near work, which catered to a wide variety of customers, but somewhat catered to art students, which meant stocking pro quality films lacking in the discount spots around town. However, the shop went out of business, leaving a huge hole in my choices.

I've had a digital camera since 1999 (don't ask how much it cost...), but I always preferred film for "real" photography. Sure, film can be altered. It can certainly be altered using Photoshop or some other digital imaging software after the fact, scratched, spliced, painted on, developed poorly, etc. However, the general 'realness' of film just seems better somehow.

The whole migration to digital photography has made me think about the "photoshop factor." Just about anyone can take a good photo these days -- and if they can't TAKE a good photo, they can probably MAKE a good photo. It used to be that photos read as 'real'. They were evidence of something -- an event, a place, a person, etc. Now that photo manipulation is so common place, it seems that the 'realness' of photography has gone out the window. Images are so routinely manipulated, that a 'real' image -- an actual photograph that is unique in some way is often read as photoshopped.

I wonder if one of the factors in the rise in video is partially due to the photoshop issue. If you see/do something UNBELIEVABLE, then would people be more likely to trust a photograph, which is just one instance in time and can be easily manipulated, or a video, which is a slice of time and not as easy to manipulate (at least, at this point in the game?)

True video offers other advantages: capturing more of the contextual as well as the audio.

Will photography be completely subsumed by video? It would seem like the answer is no, as I still know quite a few photographers who have polaroid cameras (and even use polaroid camera).

Oh, and here is a slideshow of my vacation photos. All shot with a canon xsi.

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