Q1. Do you take more photographs now than you used to? What technologies do you use when taking and editing photos? Do you upload your photos online?
Do you think the process of becoming ubiquitous (ie almost everywhere) has made photography in the digital age less important or more important?
I’ll be the first to say that I’m in no way a good photographer, I know nothing about aptitude, light and focus terms, but I love taking photos. I have a little digital camera (Panasonic ZR3) that does the job. I think that I have taken at least one photo every day since my eldest was born and that has only increased with each one of my children. I take my camera everywhere and I upload the best ones on Facebook privately so that my friends and family can see their progress. Before my youngest slobbered over my smartphone and effectively rendering it useless, I used to take photos with the phone camera and use the photoshop apps like Instagram, then upload them to FB from there.
It’s my belief that photographs are important in helping keep memories. As a family we love looking back at when the kids were born or when they passed a major milestone, you should see their eye light up when we talk about what we remember about that special day. The fact that digital photos allow me to take as many as I want, select the best to show friend and family on FB is great, because I can do it at a moments notice and at practically no cost.
Q2. Some people argue that by lowering the barriers to participation (including giving easy access to editing tools, filters, feedback from other amateur photographers etc.) digital photography has given people a better understanding of what makes a (good) photograph.
Do you agree? What different ways are there to define what makes a photograph ‘good’?
I’m sorry for the cliché, but I think a ‘good’ photo depends on the individual’s taste. What I think if a ‘good’ photo may differ greatly from next person and I think that’s OK. I love photos where the subject is close and centre where the detail is clearly visible, and I can make a connection with said subject, yet I also like scenic photos of nature and animals. Good photos for me may not be technically correct, such as slightly out of focus, but as long as they make me feel good, make me laugh, then I don’t mind. One of my interests on Stumbleupon is photography and let me just say I could spend hours just looking at some of the photos… Here are a couple of links you might want to check out if you have the time.
Q3. Photography has long been tied to notions of truth and accuracy, as is explored in some of the readings this week. Since its move into the digital, how do tools like Photoshop, and other digital manipulation software, challenge our expectations of photographs?
In the era of Photoshop and filters (such as those in Instagram), how do we decide which photographs to ‘trust’?
Van Dijck (2009, p 67) states that “Contemporary notions of body, mind, appearance, identity and memory seem to be equally informed by the cultural condition of perpetual modification” and I think this sums up digital photography. Women, and in particular teenage girls look up to the media for role models only to encounter, whether they are aware of it or not, fake people who have a lot of make up on or have had cosmetic work done or have been photoshopped. It is unfortunate that in this era, photos cannot be trusted. I see photos of media personalities without make up and they look complete different, complete normal. It’s my belief that the only photos you can trust are the one you take yourself. Advertising is definitely a lie, there’s no other option but to be cynical about it. It is a lesson I will be teaching my children when they are old enough to understand.
This video is very funny, but as always, there’s a certain truth to it.
van Dijck, J. (2008). Digital photography: communication, identity, memory. Visual Communication, 7(1), 57 -76. doi:10.1177/1470357207084865