|Photo1: Portrait: Beverly Appell Witkin by L.A. Lewin 2012|
1. When does a photograph cease to be a document? It depends upon what is being recorded: 1. If we are looking at journalistic type photographs, once the image misleads the viewer of the actual event, person or location – the photograph ceases to be a document. These types of pictures inundate us everyday – most commonly seen in tabloids where the meaning of the subject (commonly, a person) is purposely twisted: the photograph is either captured or cropped to mislead the true context in which the subject is surrounded, thus the photograph and story behind it becoming ambiguous: misleading the reader towards the magazine or newspapers alternative agenda. 2. When traditional fine art photographs, including landscapes, street, and portrait photography is altered by digitally manipulating pixels, the photograph is no longer a document. That is to say, when the portrayal of the subject becomes abstract or otherwise change the overall appearance of a photograph to the extent of transcending its original psycho physiological photographic characteristics engenders digital art, and in some cases obscures the truth or altogether changes it, in my opinion. In both of these examples the documentary is falsely presented thus rendering them useless as a document.
|Photo2: Digital Art @www.sharenator.com|
3. Why do we want to alter the real? 1. For the corrupt journalist it may be a matter of getting the “Big scoop”, as it were. Altering a scene to help enhance a story or worse, crating a fictitious narrative. (For example, the manipulated photo credited to Ben Curtis capturing the Beirut, Lebanon conflict in 2006: additional smoke was added to photo to make the scene more intense then it actually was. The photo cited below.) 2. The “real” can also be heavily (digitally) manipulated the purposeful attempt of a digital artist creating an alternative reality, for example. (See Photo2 and Photo3)
|Photo3: Michal Macku's Digital artistic interpretations|
Again, these are my opinions and you may have your own thoughts on how photography has changed as the digital culture around us continues to influence artistic expression and how we communicate.
I look forward to reading your comments. Ciao.
Cite 1. From Errol Morris "Believing is seeing (Observations on the mysteries of photography) The Penguin Press 2011
|Beirut, Lebanon, July 26 2006|