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And there’s the thing. Anyone with a half-decent digital camera can, come up with picture-perfect, stunning shots – the kind of shots that most of us would, year’s ago have dreamed of getting. But year’s ago (and by year’s, I mean actually, not that many years – 15 years maybe, tops, which is actually not that long…) film and developing were expensive and unless you were a photoholic like me you would only take one or maybe two shots of a subject.
Even so, now, if you have an idea in mind for a project – an illustration, brochure, or poster – and you need some source material to work from (and you can’t go and take it yourself) you’d be surprised at just how often when you look at the various online galleries and stockphoto websites there are lots and lots and lots of images that are all very much the same. Only the very few capture the idea that you dreamed up in your mind.
Which leaves me to think that whilst anyone, given some good kit and the opportunity can take a very, very, good photograph of something, only a very few can take a truly unique photograph. Because that skill is in the mind, not the camera. That skill would be very nice, very nice indeed, to have.
There was an interesting discussion on BBC Radio 4’s Front Row tonight about a new exhibition of photographs…
Deutsche Börse Photography Prize 2013
The four artists shortlisted for the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize 2013 are the artist duo Adam Broomberg & Oliver Chanarin, Mishka Henner, Chris Killip and Cristina De Middel.
A selection of the shortlisted artists’ work is on exhibition at The Photographers’ Gallery from 19th April – 30th June.
One of the photographs was displaying “images” that he had “taken” from Google StreetView. much of the discussion focused on whether you could call yourself a photographer of you didn’t actually take the photographs yourself. My instinctive reaction is no. But then I started to think about it…
In this particular case the exhibition consisted of old photographs of street scenes put together with and alongside the same scenes but from Google StreetView. Why, I began to wonder is this any different to the writer who borrows and takes from and references old stories and retellings and then weaving together to make something new. Why are they still a writer but the photographer isn’t? I don’t have an answer for it… in my mind they are still unquestionably an artist but that a photographer does need to take photographs.
http://www.kidvinyl.co.uk/?negr=forexit forexit ( listen to the episode )