Week 8: Image format; film or digital?
Week 8 has encouraged me to think about format this has been a major issue throughout the initial stages of this course. My practice has always been about the image and the format has until now been a secondary consideration.
95% of my imagery up until this stage has been taken on a commissioned basis, shot digitally, and given to clients first digitally as a digital contact sheet and then printed to a photo book.
I have also occasionally exhibited landscape work, and images of a personal interest, always framed A3 prints with little thought given to scale and the importance of each of these images.
Photography very much like many other things in today’s world has been impacted by modernity, everything is easily accessible and as a result of this feels extremely disposable.
Technological innovation, has changed the way in which photographs are taken, this has also blurred the lines when looking at photography as an art form and also unfortunately, had a detrimental impact on the value of photographs. Photography, thanks to social media and smart phones has become accessible and engrained in everyday life more than ever before, not only are people constantly exposed to photographic images they are no longer limited to 12, 24 or 36 images per roll. Anyone can take 100s of photographs and if they aren’t happy with the results? Delete and start again; this takes much of the immediacy out of photography.
The current dependence on photographic imagery as a means of representation has changed so much in today’s society narcissism has become, in my opinion, a societal norm the amount of images on social media websites like Instagram and Facebook displaying the sitter in a positive light, has become excessive. Instagram model and social media star Kim Kardashian described taking over 6000 images whilst on vacation in Mexico in pursuit of the perfect selfie. I wonder what happened to all of the images deemed to be not good enough? [ https://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-3790096/Kim-Kardashian-claims-took-SIX-THOUSAND-selfies-four-day-vacation-Mexico-North-Saint-West.html ]
The digital age of photography has ensured that photographs are much more disposable the value associated with photography has surely diminished due to the fact that anyone with enough patience can eventually create the perfect exposure.
This interestingly enough has had the impact of encouraging me to shoot film, this encourages me to be much more patient with each of my exposures, to consider the exposure framing every individual detail before pressing the shutter. This I believe has made me a much more effective photographic practitioner! Many habits I picked up in my practice whilst shooting digital I will no longer far prey to. Before I was generally would have shot the image checked it on the back of my DSLR before amending exposure. everything was rushed and I suppose very temporary. I’d capture multiple versions of each exposure in the knowledge than one of them would be ok, this took not only much of the skill of photography as a subject but made it very temporary.
Now however, attending a location with only 12 frames and being unable to check each image after taking it means that I now use a light meter, frame and compose my image over a period of time. My confidence and passion for the subject has grown. Modernity isn’t a bad thing. But understanding it’s impact and amending my practice as a photographer as a result of it has helped to make me a more confident photographic practitioner.