Friday, 11 May 2012

1 week, 7 photos

In contrast to the digital side of my outcome (previous blog post), the analogue portrayal produces far more considered photographic pieces. This was done to represent how analogue photography is always limited by the number of exposures in a film, dissimilar to digital where enormous amounts of images can be taken in succession. Therefore people are more particular about what is worthy of a picture, likening to Kodak's 'moment' photography of a more selective approach.

I decided to take a single chosen picture each day, which represents this considered approach, contrasting against my depiction of the current state of digital photography. This gives a small insight as to my activities of the day, rather than less rationally deliberated photos that depict a more detailed yet rigid account of my day. The pictures are in black and white to represent the tradition and heritage around analogue photography.

1 week, 24 photos a day

To represent how digital photography, particularly of late with compact and phone cameras, is becoming about documenting the activities of our everyday lives I captured a period of my life on my iPhone. Digital photography utilises the accessibility and instantaneity of its format, enabling people to take quick images and share them online in seconds. As a result photography in this respect means people are becoming less considerate of what they take pictures of and capture a variety of shots of their day to day life, simply because they don't have a limited amount of photographs available to take (as opposed to film). This allows people to use photos as another means of communication, for instance rather than saying 'eating a delicious cupcake at Hummingbird,' the person can simply take a picture of that cupcake and share it online. Resultantly people are beginning to accumulate a vast collection of online photography, baring more resemblance to a story documenting their lives than occasional the photographic 'moment' as originally described by Kodak.

I decided to capture shots on my phone for a week, taking 24 photos each day relating to the number of hours in a day and 24 exposure film. I wanted these pictures to be taken at regular intervals or certain time slots of whatever I was doing, removing the decision from me of when and what to take photographs of, reflecting the notion of snap shot photography of everyday events (as mentioned above). I decided to take these pictures half-hourly, 09.00–20.30 as it covered the main breadth of the day.

Below are the pictures from each day.

Presentation format

When considering the how people's photographs are shown through websites such as flickr and Facebook, are they really being enjoyed or appreciated in the best means?

Once a film is finished in an analogue camera it is developed and usually all of the photographs printed. Leaving us with a nice but small physical collection of images (24/36). Whereas with digital photography we will often take in excess of 50 photos of a single night out and the next day upload them online, where they can only be appreciated as a collection as thumbnails on screen or larger as individual shots. The issue being that the photos are always limited by the size of the screen in which they are displayed. Of course digital photos can still be printed but are they still digital when printed? The same can be said for film photographs, are they still analogue when scanned in on screen?

What I'm am really questioning is is not so much the photograph, as of course a film photo would have been captured on an analogue camera, but it is that final presentation of it that questions its honesty. Is a digitally displayed film scan paying justice to the format it which it was originally shot?

There is always a sense of nostalgia to printed photographs, due to the tactility of the print and the physical interaction with it as an object we have a deeper more personal engagement to the image than we would as pixels on screen.

I feel there is a certain honesty to the process of analogue photography when the developed negatives are exposed, and it is simply through the use of light that the image was captured and printed. If scanned and printed digitally it seems dishonest to how the photograph was recorded. Likewise with digitally shot photographs I like to have the occasional shot printed but more often than not I just refer to the entire collection on screen. When these images are printed they somehow feel less truthful to how they were originally captured, going from RGB pixels to ink on paper, and that the format doesn't justifiably reflect the method of photography used.