Sunday, October 17, 2010

Too much technology, less creativity?


Poisonberry, originally uploaded by jiihaa.

Rose, originally uploaded by jiihaa.

I found (via 1001 Noisy Cameras) a rather interesting posting at a Pentax DSLRs users' site, discussing how technology may hinder photographic creativity: "Digital cameras are the masters, along with Photoshop and all of the digital innovations. We are the slaves. Yes, the quality of the images is so much superior. Yes, you can make enlargements "poster size" with exceptional clarity. Yes, yes and yes; everything is better...except creativity. [...] When you look back at your images, are they of what you actually shot or are they of what you imagined the scene to be, after changing it with Photoshop? [...] The majority of the current generation of photographers want a DSLR that is fully auto-everything and one that does the majority of thinking. They prefer exchanging or posting their images through the internet (at a low resolution) or sending images through their cell phones. It's all fine, but it's the camera that is creating and we take the credit."

As you know, I'm really keen on having a simple jpeg-based workflow, no postprocessing at all (well, there are isolated exceptions). This helps to avoid the need to sit in front of the computer and makes it possible to be out there taking photographs.

Of course, among the deleted photographs there are some that could be salvaged by postprocessing, especially if I would be shooting jpeg+RAW - but then this would switch the creativity away from taking photographs.

3 comments:

Markus Spring said...

Juha, obviously you (and I) are not part of the "we". I am neither demanding nor using the gizmos and gimmicks my camera provides (I did exactly once, and found no benefit) and happily ignore them alltogether, and so you seem to do.

No, in this case technology does not hinder: First, you do not have to use a digital camera, second you don't have to use the auto-anything, and third you can pick your cherries if it helps communicate your vision. If you don't have a vision, neither a film camera nor a pencil will help.

And throughout the centuries artists were rare, as well as those who can discern art from show.

Myn.pheos said...

I don't think that new technology is seriously reducing creativity. On the contrary, it adds new possibilities to express oneself.

The added (automatic) functions in cameras don't preclude the expression (you don't have to use them on some cameras), because often they are added to help with technical aspects of photography. Postprocessing in digital age is easy and brings many possibilities of artistic expression. I consider postprocessing an integral part of photography that cannot be separated, creating a photo does not end with shutter release...

I postprocess only good photographs I like to make them even closer to my vision/feeling, or just to play with them a be creative...

Juha Haataja said...

I guess this is not a black-and-white topic, there are ways of using technology profitably in artistic creativity. I guess it is a matter of whether the technology hinders focusing on the creation or not.