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Ensign Carbines

Pixel Dust or Lasting Image

Are photographs ephemera or lasting images, truth or lies?

'Photographs never lie' but they always did, from the creation of photography. A photograph may be a mechanical, chemical, digital and print representation of 'reality' but it is always reality interpreted by by the photographer, the photographer as viewer and translator of reality. A photographer does not take 'snapshots' - ideally in the past she processed and printed her own work - which required time and money or a profession in the field.

Sometimes, if you are lucky it makes enough money for you to break even.

Now, if we want we can all be photographers. With digital cameras and photo manipulation software we can all do anything we like with images but millions upon millions of images are produced in massive formats - you could cover a house with one - but then they are erased or left to clog memory space - or they are launched onto the www to be shared or forgotten.

I've tried all this but I've never got round to working at it.

Photo Manipulation and Montage

Magpies and Squirrels

I have hundreds, probably thousands of photographs. My own photographs are stored reasonably. Many exist as strips of 35mm negatives (but they are filed and labeled so I can retrieve them). There are also boxes full of prints which I quite liked at the time. These are filed too.

Mother in Sepia

Then there are the shoe boxes full of negatives and prints which family members have taken over the years. They are battered, badly exposed, faded and in all types of format. They are a document to my family's persistence in the face of poor photographic skills - and the evolution of the camera throughout the 20th century.

Three of my cameras

Ensign CarbineYashica MatFugifilm

I still have some of these cameras. Some had exposed film in them when I inherited them. Once developed they revealed images of those long dead, with a strange dendritic tracery.

The Cameras

Ensign Carbine, Yashica Mat and Fugifilm

History or Megapixels

Some social historians (who worry about this sort of thing) are concerned that digital photography will deprive future social historians of such individual records of the 21st century. Photographs are wiped or stored on degrading and obsolete formats. Social historians are probably not using YouTube or Flickr yet.

I have thousands of digital photographs too. I only wipe the ones which I think are really useless. They are stored all over the place. The software to sort all this stuff is good. I've downloaded and played with a number of programs. They are fun to use. Actually doing the work though, that is another matter.

Creative or Compulsive?

I could spend the rest of my life scanning, filing and documenting but what is the point? Visual images are just that - something to look at.

What I really wanted to do with all this was to use images as raw materials, to turn them into something else.

Serendipitous or Skilled - could you do that again?

Digital photo manipulation is so easy, so fast, compared with the time and effort of darkroom manipulation. Early photographers played with the medium like a child with clay. Probably there was a lot of serendipity but mostly the process was methodical, skilled and time consuming - also replicable.

Photo manipulation has always been used by photographers, to sell products, to produce art and to visually 'prove' propaganda.




Enhancement or Propaganda?

Introduction to Photoshop

Introduction to Photoshop

Alien Planet

Portfolio of Work

Dead Tree Collage

Dead Tree Collage

Dead Tree Collage

The editing process

Operational Art?

Tanks Prohibited

pixeldust/start.txt · Last modified: 2011/03/11 22:41 by meta
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