Photo-manipulations vs. photography

Started 3 months ago | Polls thread
lilBuddha Veteran Member • Posts: 4,368
Re: Photo-manipulations vs. photography

misterodd wrote:

lilBuddha wrote:

misterodd wrote:

lilBuddha wrote:

misterodd wrote:

mamallama wrote:

Photo manipulations imply distorting reality which is not photography. Things like blue screening and cutting objects out of a scene are distortions of reality and thus not photography.

I completely understanding your line of thought and it's a fair definition

relatively consistent with the opinions of many individuals and groups, photographers and non-photographers, alike.

In a broader sense, perhaps a socio-philosophical sense, however, even "photography" is inherently "manipulative" as it provides no context, especially historical context.

It is not a socio-philosophical sense, but in a the way reality works, sense,

I think you did not understand what I wrote.

And I am pretty sure you did not undestand my reply.

I did understand what you wrote despite the rather crude diction used in your explanation.

Language is about communication and this is not always facilitated by grandiose vocabulary.

We are talking about how a photo can be manipulated intentionally or otherwise and what would constitute this manipulation. The person I replied to provided an overt case of manipulation. I provided one that was less so. When a critique is carried out, a set of criteria is required to judge and make distinctions.

All photographs are manipulations, no philosophy necessary. Philosophy come in further down the road when we begin to discuss what manipulation changes definition.

You do understand that I am not talking about any particular philosophy or rigorous system of thought, don't you? We are discussing ideas here. And any time ideas are discussed and debated one can not escape philosophy, critical thought. It envelopes everything. It is the basic frame work, the ground in which arguments are built and put forth. We all drink from the well of knowledge, do we not?

An image is one signifier among an inexhaustible many and can fall prey to the machinations of those who do not use photography to enlighten or edify or inspire others.

What? Photography is not meant the enlighten, edify or inspire, it is making images by recording light. It can be used to enlighten, edify or inspire or whatever motive the maker and/or viewer wants. But that is not its purpose.

Photography can be used to enlighten, edify, or inspire others, among many things. I never made the claim that photography was only ever used for these ends.

Your phrasing certainly implies it.

Making critical judgements requires rigorous logic, a body of knowledge, and an extraordinary sense of the world around us, among other things.

No, it doesn't. One could make the case for the argument that it should, but humans are wired to make quick, instinctual judgements. Humans have evolved the ability to reason, but are still strongly governed by instinct.

If we look carefully at this exchange, I have used words like "enlighten," "edify," and "inspire," in contradistinction to words related to "machination." I have not implied that photography, or photographers, as you would prefer, only do the things mentioned above. It's best to see the forest for the trees.

You set up a false dichotomy between those who seek to 'enlighten or edify or inspire' and those who do not and their potential "machinations".

You wrote that photography is "making images by recording light." I suppose this was your definition of the purpose of photography. But this is not a definition of the purpose. It is only an ever-so-brief explanation of how photography works, in a technical sense.

Photography has no purpose, photography is a process.

Photographers have purpose.

And, of course, viewers can infer purpose.

The difference between "photography" and "photographer" is little more than a semantic differentiation.

There's no reason to split hairs here. It's unnecessary and only causes confusion. It's obvious to most people, that the individual photographer is the agent doing the photography, isn't it? If one were to say that photography didn't have a purpose this would be wrong. Because for some people, photography does serve a specific purpose, to document, to teach, to explore one's inner being, etc. This would be the same as saying art doesn't have a purpose, and I'm fairly certain almost no one would make such an assertion.

The purpose of a photographic device is to facilitate making an image using light.* The purpose or philosophy of the photographer is orthogonal to this.

The process itself has no inherent purpose or philosophy. The reason this is important is because of threads like this one where people say "The purpose of photography is..." thus attempting to limit the discussion to their subjective determination.

*Some other forms of electro-magnetic radiation qualify, but for the purposes of this discussion it is light.

I think you may have not fully comprehended the arguments in this exchange.

I understand just fine, but I do disagree.

I genuinely believe that we can not come to terms here. But this happens every single day when people discuss and debate and defend their ideas. It's perfectly fine.

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