Photo-manipulations vs. photography

Started 3 months ago | Polls thread
knickerhawk Veteran Member • Posts: 6,355
Re: Some Things Never Change
1

The Ghost of Caravaggio wrote:

Photo-manipulations are as old as photography. The Pictorialism movement became popular from ~ 1886-1915. Pictorialism was a response to the view that photography was not – nor could it ever be – art.

Indeed. It was an effort to legitimize photography as a form of art and not just as some poor substitute that anyone with a camera could achieve. Then came "straight photography" proponents like Adams, Weston, et.al. who rejected the notion of tying photography's legitimacy as an art form to other forms of art, like painting. Today, that debate is completely dead. Nobody argues anymore that photography isn't a legitimate art form in its own right. Nobody cares whether or not photographs parrot the look of representational or abstract painting.

And in all likelihood, as we move into the era of deep fakes, AI and all that comes along with it, the need to legitimize "digital" image making by tying it back to accepted conventions of "photography" will just fall away. Eventually, nobody will really care or expect that what they're viewing is unadulterated "reality" captured without "manipulation". They will have long-since accepted that any such claimed distinction is a rather quaint one, not unlike the attitude we have today about photography vs. painting.

Before digital imaging mage manipulation was tedious, and inconvenient and required a soime degree of technical skill. Now children under the age of 10 manipulate images using their parents and siblings phones.

The problem isn't manipulation. The problem is inelegant, sloppy manipulation because it is so easy to achieve.

That's a problem, to be sure, but again art history can tell us something about this. Abstract art in the form of "inelegant, sloppy manipulations" of paint is also easy to achieve. Kids in kindergarten create "abstract art" every day! Despite the many grumblings and dismissals of abstract art based on this same argument, somehow that particular form of art has survived and even flourished.

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