So what is a photo anyway?

Ok so most photographers know and understand the basics of what makes a decent photograph right?

Some skill, a decent camera and equipment, a decent Lense, good ligthing a good subject, and of course a concept or purpose for the picture, be it for private or professional use.

But these days, that's not enough, and is rarely the case. I don't know wether to consider myself lucky or not, but I joined the world of photography in the digital age, already very capable of using photoshop and other editing software, hardly ever having shot with film.

That said, most of my photography work these days is commercial, and I have to wonder how photographers did this kind of work in the past. Almost every image I shoot finds itself coursing it's way through the veins of a PC, either getting touched up, cropped, color corrected, deep etched /clipped, dodged, burned, masked, blurred, feathered, sharpened and then applied to a design layout of one or other kind like a catalog, magazine advert, website design etc.

My Question is simply this: When does one draw the line between what still a photograph, and what is now more accurately defined as a design or art? Simply in the steps we take to get photos suitable for stock, a photo is simply not a photo anymore. It's an artistically remastered photograph.

For example:

© Rjmiz

I propose this very cautiously, but I almost feel that these days, if one is not computer literate enough to use photo editing software, even with the latest digital camera equipment, one can not be a good photographer...

So are we photographers? Or digital photographic artists?


Photo credits: Anthony Furgison.

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October 29, 2007


I think my latest note on the blog could relate to your post.
PS: I don't agree that it is a good camera/lens/equipment that makes a decent photograph. As far as I know you can make a photograph with a coconut shell and it will look far more interesting and appealing than a picture taken with the latest Canon EOS :).

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