Hmmm… I feel a bit ambivalent about all the technological advancements in photography these days – it no longer holds true that the camera never lies as digital darkroom image manipulation helps us concoct the most creative chimera, developing each of us into a virtual Doctor Frankenstein. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s great to be able to correct faults and flaws to improve the quality of an otherwise disappointing shot, but sometimes for me that ‘correction’ seems to be taken too far, with the resulting image becoming almost monstrous in its attempt to appear real.
Although not a photographic purist, personally I’m not really one for utilising too much digital manipulation – I’ll crop an image if and when it needs it, or change it to greyscale, but that’s about it – with my images it tends to be what you see is what you get, warts and all. At heart I want to be a photographer, not a computer software wizard. Hyper-reality can be used to great deliberate effect though – I do love these over-saturated images I took of Neal’s Yard in Covent Garden, London, taken using a ‘pop-art’ filter on my old Olympus E-450, my very first DSLR…
And another thing, with digital cameras being built in to our ubiquitous mobile phones, I find that photography favours an almost throwaway feel nowadays in that some people (usually of the younger generation – God I’m getting old!) no longer put any thought into the sheer quantity of shots they fire off, or care about how bad the resulting images are, because they can all be so easily discarded and replaced with something new along the way. I mean, I too take loads of pictures all the time, but always with my eye on achieving that elusive image that takes my breath away, that I can maybe even print out and frame on my wall – alas I’ve still a long way to go yet before finding it.
I’ve taken some perfectly presentable shots with my ever-present smartphone (more of that when I get to ‘S’), so I know that modern phone cameras are quite capable of achieving surprisingly decent pics and it’s great always to have that option available. But flying in the face of built-in image-obsolescence, for me the aim of trying to produce at least one good quality photograph to keep for posterity wins hands down over littering copious quantities of badly-composed, thoughtlessly-snapped, blurry images all over Facebook… sigh!