So just what is a photograph any more?

Anna Hathaway - Variations- small

I no longer have a clue what a photograph is anymore…I really don’t.  In the past it was fairly straight forward and usually had something to do with film or other media used to capture the image.  Nowadays that distinction just doesn’t work.   Yes you can still captured an image using analogue methodology but it will almost certainly end up being digitised and then … well it is an image.

A case in point are these two variations I made on the digital painting of Anne Hathaway I have been working on over the past couple of days.   The original painting was made in the digital environment so it doesn’t really fit the description of a photograph.  Yet the work I undertook to create the image is no different to that which I would have done if I had captured the image using a lens – so perhaps it is a photograph after all?  Or are my photographs no longer photographs – if this is the case then no photograph worked on in a dark room is a photograph and so we had all better pack up right now.

Of course things get even more confusing when you consider the two images above.  Both of these have been created by using exactly the same photo apps that I use to produce images captured on my iPhone.  Does this now make them a photograph as they were manipulated digital images? (almost images captured using a camera obscura in one sense)

So am I a photographer or digital artist or both?  I no longer feel the barriers between these distinct approaches to making images is worth a fig.   To prove this consider this image, it was a ink, chalk and graphite sketch, captured and manipulated using an iPhone – just how would this be classified?


In the end who cares – I don’t but there are an awful lot of people who do – otherwise organisations such as the Royal Photographic Society would cease to exist.   It is so confusing.


A design for life.

About Guthlac

An artist, historian and middle aged man who'se aim in life is to try and enjoy as much of it as he can
This entry was posted in Art, Digital Painting, Photography and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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