A series of rather recent technical developments permit photography to go in new directions. I think we should welcome them and explore them – but without letting technology or perfection take over. Photography will always be a matter of shooting the right motive at the right place at the right time – and what that means will never be defined once and for all – and a lousy picture won’t become great just because you put it through Photoshop.
Look at the photo below of a pair of pears. Under them is a plate with some coffee beans with a napkin on top and then those two beautiful shapes, almost making a couple, signifying autumn and juicy delight. I did it in no time in a private kitchen between carrying things out and in and it was only a raw picture, and I tell you it all looked very commonplace, trivial…outright boring; exactly as something just put there in a hurry in a kitchen – although I took advantage of the structure of the beans to let them stand up on their ends rather than lying on the napkin. But that is all I did.
The result you see is all thanks to technology, an iPhone with some “app” used in a late evening in a kitchen corner with too little light and then worked on just a little in Photoshop. It could have appeared in literally thousands of other ways; this is just one example.
This article offers some of my thoughts on this, not the least stimulated by people coming to my gallery and often questioning the use of “all these new things” and “why can’t a picture just be a good picture anymore”? They are very legitimate and I respect those who stick the their last day with good old films (as long as you can buy them) and lock themselves up in a darkroom. Fine – but I don’t.