As I see it … a photograph records an instant in time and this instant in time will never ever happen again.
Initially, I took film snapshots from a family history point of view, to record personal events, children, birthdays, holidays etc. These snapshots had value only to those actually involved – as the main value of these snapshots was to record the times, the events and to preserve memories, i.e. record shots with some having a technical/mechanical flavour.
Over time and with advances in the equipment available one tended to improve and move away from the traditional snapshot to obtain better quality images.
A quality image that has value should have a purpose, a reason, to tell an interesting story, to sustain memories, to exhibit and convey meaningful information, to have understandable and emotional content, to inspire, to impress and extract an emotional response from all viewing the image, not from just those intimately involved.
The artistic quality of the image depends upon the skill and imagination of the photographer and the efficient use of the equipment, i.e. light conditions, the subject, innovative angles, focus variations, unconventional composition, different exposures etc.
With the advent of digital photography the trend has moved away from the skill in taking a good photograph to those who are more skilled in using a computer keyboard to alter/modify and produce an enhanced image. In the past, film photography was a relationship between camera and a person, today digital photography is now a relationship between camera, person and now more importantly, a computer keyboard.
Yesterday, film photographs were truthful, today, digital images not so. The ‘purity’ of photography has been polluted by manipulated pixals as digital photographs are images on steroids.Phil Woodman.Aug. 2010
My thoughts on digital photography and photography competitions.