Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Photography - Digital or the 'old-fashioned' way??

I've been thinking about digital cameras and camera phones. The thing that's good about digital cameras is that you can really take as many photos as you want because you won't run out of film. It kind of takes away from the moment however, because you can just do heaps of takes and view the photo until you get it right. With 'old-fashioned' photography you only get one shot and you can't check the photo until it is printed to see if it's right. I can't really decide if this is a good or a bad thing. I guess it's cool to capture the moment as it is, without staging it and redoing it if it's not perfect, because that way it is more of a reflection of reality - unrehearsed and 'uncut'. On the other hand though, it's always a real bummer when you finally get your holiday shots printed and you've got your eyes closed in every shot or someone wasn't looking, and then you can't re-do them because the holiday's over. Photos really are meant to store memories, and who wants to put up photos of people with their eyes closed or looking stupid, no matter how 'real' it is?

Which brings me to another point - the use of photos after they are taken. I used to take photos to have them printed and put in an album and frames, to have them in my immediate everyday environment. Now I am finding that with digital cameras, photos are not really being printed to put in a photo album, but rather uploaded to blogs and websites instead. There are benefits to this, like many more people can view them and comment etc. But I also quite like having an album to look through, to physically hold. Also, 'old-fashioned' photos need to be developed and printed otherwise you cannot view them, whereas with digital photography you may only print the good ones.

So I am really in two minds about the whole thing... what do you guys think??


At 10:02 AM, Blogger Kevin said...

It is an interesting issue, both for the pros and cons of taking pictures, and the questions of their application once taken.

One thing I'll note is that a very clever theorist on the topic named Ron Burnett has a book called "How Images Think" in the university library. He discusses the movement to digital photography in easy to understand ways, and explores a lot of the questions it raises.

One thing he talks about is the paradigms of how societies have viewed their histories, and that for a long time the photograph has had associations with History. He explores the reasons for that association, and how it's changing now.

A good read for anyone interested in this subject.

- Kevin.


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