Monday, January 07, 2013
Photography is Not Dead-- It's Not Even Sick.
The reason the article -- posted by a well-known photography site -- wonders if photography is done is because there now exists motion capturing devices which have become so good at capturing high resolution imagery that a single frame, i.e., a still image, can be lifted from the motion captures (the video) to produce an image that equals, rivals, even trumps still images captured by still cameras. Leastwise, from a technical standpoint.
In my mind, the writer must have either been reaching for something to write about or his/her wonderment was born of a singular lack of understanding of photography as a unique medium. The writer's article subtly (perhaps not-so-subtly) puts stuff like image resolution and other technical aspects of a photographic image ahead of just about every other aspect of photography, e.g., the artistic and emotional aspects of the image, not to mention the creative input of the photographer. In fact, I'll go a step further and call it yet another article which puts gear and technology in front of craft and art.
Gear and the technical stuff will never, I repeat WILL NEVER, replace the art and craft of photography. If it ever does, which I don't believe it will, that gear and technology will also replace photographers. Gee! That sounds like something to look forward to... not!
Gear and technology might be able to create technically perfect images with little or no creative input from the photographer but, lest anyone forget, technically perfect images can be the world's most incredibly boring photographs! There's an old Egyptian proverb which says, "A beautiful thing is never perfect." Man oh man! Does that ever hold true for photography.
This whole business of searching through frame after frame of video to discover and lift a single frame for use as a still photograph is the same as photographers using the spray-n-pray approach to their photography. In other words, shoot enough stills or capture enough video and there's bound to be a decent photo in their somewhere. Man, if that's what photography is headed towards count me the eff out. That's got to be the most boring, creatively unfulfilled art/craft on the planet. It's nothing more than photography for uncreative techno-geeks. Even if you pull a killer image or two from a clip of video with thousands of images, would anyone truly feel any creative fulfillment from doing so? I know I wouldn't. But maybe that's just me? (Hopefully, it's not.)
Okay. That's my mini-rant for the day. Move along now. Nothing to see here....
...except maybe the model with the great natural chest puppies at the top who I shot last week and whose name I already can't remember. (Click the pic to enlarge.) I can remember, however, how I shot her: I used a 4' Photek Softlighter for my main (with me and my ass perched on an apple box directly in front of it and her) plus a couple of much smaller, Photek knock-offs on either side of her from slightly behind. I also used a cheap house fan to push her hair back a bit. The background is the wall of a small living room. That's the color the wall is painted, BTW. The model is about four or five feet in front of the wall. The room has 8' ceilings. Yes, it's cramped. But no problemo. I'm a guerrilla photographer. I make do. Also, not much post processing applied to the pic. I'm not much of a "much post processing" kind of guy.