The meaning of photography continues to evolve

Photographers have been debating the implications of post capture image manipulation for some time now. The amount of acceptable manipulation depends largely on your photographic “tribe”. At one end of the spectrum are the photojournalists (who limit reality bending to moment of capture only)  I’m not sure where the other end is.

I’m opening this sore again because of a New York Times article<http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/17/fashion/17photo.html?partner=rssnyt&emc=rss&gt; which addresses an issue I’m been thinking about for the last couple of years. The idea that while we, the self appointed guardians of photography, have been parceling out however much manipulation we deem appropriate, the end users of our art have been making up their own minds. 

From the Times “..as people fiddle with the photos in their scrapbooks, the tug of emotion and vanity can win out over the objective truth. And in some cases, it can even alter memories — Cousin Andy was at the wedding, right?”

If a mistake was made on our parts, it was the idea that expectations about photography would remain constant….namely, photography represents an objective slice of reality. While this has never been true, consumers of photography have frequently believed it to be. 

This universal shift in expectations about photography is bound to have lasting effects. Stay tuned. 

Keith

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~ by keithphilpott on August 19, 2008.

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