The Virtual Art of Photography In These Modern Socially Digital Times

October 15, 2020

Sometimes or maybe often photographer’s contemplate a picture in their minds virtually…What happens next is we then to go out and try to make it… often if it doesn’t turn out as we dreamed, we feel the need to enhance it, change it, fix it and expand it to fit our dream. Remember this, “modern digital
photography outcomes may not be as it really was in a particular moment of time”.

I am a teacher of photography, as mediocre as it is for me,  I will always teach the basic premise that a great photograph need not be explained.  A good photograph will always be true to the “actual” moment, mood and scene.  You cannot spin it or remake it into what it was not, “eye candy”. You don't need the histrogram, latest camera, a filter, special lens, super computer filled with fancy software to make a great photograph! As artful as it may be, it's still a photograph or should be in the end.

There will be those who argue that even the great masters of film used tools to enhance the outcomes.  This is true to a certain extent, however the manipulation in the chemical darkroom was very, very limited according to today's standards. The only means being mostly contrast and shades of light.  Later with the advent of color positive and negative film, saturation and the palette of colors became paramount.

Today we have unlimited tools to change, manipulate, reverse, beautify, saturate, sharpen, control gamma, soften, clarify, spot heal, clone, mask, brighten, darken, curves, vignette, add anything, remove anything, change perspective, dodge, burn, layers of change and finally you can completely make a photograph literally out of nothing with clicks on a computer using digital illusion/illustrator software. We now see an entire group / (groupie)  subject of surreal photographs made from PlayStations (search Flickr), not camera's. We’ve got drones, cellphones, apps and the force is endless. Billions upon billions of photographs uploaded of every moment in and out from our lives, both sacred and unsecured all the while everyone is watching. All the good, the bad and the ugly. (Twitter, FB, Instagram, etc.)

We are a world of social media divining our photos daily, tagging, grouping, promoting, commenting, bragging all in the hopes for likes of our unique lives.  We are depressed, excited, surprised, tickled, informed and disappointed all  in the social sharing of our life’s moments.

It’s all a bit overwhelming, so often virtually contemplated in our thoughts.  The fighting, the shouting, the humor, the shame, the opinion, all for us to share with the world like never before.

So this story has migrated from the true basic thoughts on photography to the social monopoly
of our lives…we need it, we want it, we believe it. So the next time you see a beautiful picture that is “too good to be true” it probably is!

So in closing, everyone should watch the documentary on Netflix this year “The Social Dilemma”.  

I know the world is full of too much craziness in politics, environment, financial losses, pandemics and forces of nature…it’s all overwhelming…so walk on the bright side of the street, we will survive. Now go out an take some photographs today, enjoy all we have to play with in these times. Let the moments sooth your thoughts and be not to worry over how many accolades that photo will generate within the social dilemma! And in the end remember, it's a photograph...try and keep it that way. Thank you, as always for dropping by, now back to work.

 


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