Photograph vs. Digital Art – An uneducated rant
If you are one of those demented souls who take their crappy beautiful photographs and regurgitate them through programs and processes like Picniktm and call yourself a photographer you should seriously consider stopping. Don’t lie, I haven’t been the first one to say it to you and won’t be the last. What you have actually created really does resemble what a mother penguin vomits up for her baby, despite what those around you say to avoid triggering your emotional self destruct button.
Now what I have said, and will continue to say, is based on a few facts that allow me to rant and rave without fear of reprisal. I am not a professional photographer. Hell I’m barely even an amateur photographer**. I don’t sell, charge, or otherwise seek to gain a profit from photographs, nor should I. I am a self-confessed asshole who likes to rant and rave about everyone’s faults, including my own, for the sheer joy of it.
Here are a few definitions for you to ponder.
Photograph: Often shortened to photo: an image of an object, person, scene, etc, in the form of a print or slide recorded by a camera on photosensitive material
Digital Art: a general term for a range of artistic works and practices that use digital technology as an essential part of the creative and/or presentation process.
So those images you took and mercilessly pounded into submission via Picniktm, were photos before you defaced them. They may have even been decent photos but now they are akin to Satan’s bastard children. They are now considered to be digital art. I guess. I don’t particularly know or care about digital art per se; I just know that I don’t want to see that crap on a photography sharing site and passed off as photography. It belongs on your 5 year olds lunchbox, some coffee mug, or your desktop background and nowhere else…well maybe deviant art or other sites dedicated to digital art I guess. I would post examples of this disease but its best left to the imagination. Instead I will offer a link. Click on it at your own risk but be warned, what has been seen cannot be unseen. YNAP.
Now to be fair, I will submit two of my own examples into this craptastic category but they still don’t equal the abominations I witness all too often. These are not photographs anymore, they are digital art…albeit poor examples of it. The only ones who should consider these to be photographs are friends, family, and pet enthusiasts who don’t know any better. In both instances I applied the technique merely to say that I had. Never to be applied again. I liken it to snorting sugarless grape Kool-Aidtm mix as a child. Not very enjoyable, not something I am particularly proud of, and not something I will repeat again in my lifetime.
** I feel I must point out that I have recently removed both the copyright logo as well as the ‘photography’ from my watermark to more accurately reflect the situation. I am a slow learner.
Just because I rant and rave about this topic doesn’t mean I know anything about it. Perhaps if I had professional training or a degree I would think differently. Nah…probably not. It’s my general opinion, and from that I base all my ravings and ignore anyone who would approach me with logic or fact. This technique is my specialty and allows me to sleep well at night even when I upset everyone involved. It’s my world and I only let you exist in it to serve me. [Plugs ears, closes eyes, and obnoxiously belts ‘La La La La La’]
What I’m getting at is that I don’t know the exact line that exists when a photograph ceases to be, and becomes digital art. Now photography can be digital art, but digital art can’t be photography, at least in my twisted world. Many people, including myself, utilize photoshop, lightroom, aperture, or any number of programs to tweak their images. Adjustment of exposure, lighting, colour, sharpness, and other techniques are aimed at assisting the individual paint the picture they envision. How much is too much? When does the image cease to be a photograph? Here’s a hint. When you photoshop your face into a tree, add ‘sparkles’ to everything shiny, or plaster some god-awful font across your image using someone else’s well thought out quote…its not a photograph OR photography.
I should point at this time that I have seen some amazing digital art photography. Phenomenal examples of where the photographer has painted breathtaking art using simple (and some not so simple) techniques to paint his or her picture. The majority of the storytelling took place before post processing. There are always exceptions to the rule. Especially when considering facts and figures that I conjure up in my storytelling.
I am intelligent enough to realize better people than me have said what I just did but with a more eloquent tongue but I am far too lazy to look and quite frankly I don’t care. I have scratched this itch and I can go back to my self-deprecating humour that I love so much and focus on something else. Focus on improving my photographs. I only hope and pray that you do too. If I see one more photo of you glittering up a bathroom profile picture and writing “dance like nobody is watching”, I may just get stabby
Troy Alan White
I now have three subscribers. I can officially call it a posse but not quite yet a following. We have upgraded our communications system from two cans connected with string to flashlights and morse code. You too can join and receive the special decoder ring, unless you are content to stare from your car window pretending to read the paper. Your not fooling anyone.