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Digital Prints Are The Future For Photography

Sep 10, 2008
The digital revolution in photography has led to a huge increase in the popularity of photography as a hobby. From low resolution automatic cameras to high end Single Lens Reflex (SLR) cameras, the new lease of life that digital technology has bought to the industry is having a profound affect on photographic aesthetics. Once the realm of photographic professionals and artists, successful photography required the understanding of apertures, F stops, Lighting and framing. This started to change with the introduction of the automatic camera.

Automatic cameras allowed the general public, with no photographic training, to take pictures at the click of a button. This accessibility increased the popularity of photography as a hobby and this is the first point that the aesthetics began to change dramatically. The quality of the pictures was in no way comparable to that which could be achieved by a professional using an SLR camera, as the auto mated function was fairly basic. The quality of the photographic subject was also no threat to those working professionally. Blurred holiday snaps, badly framed portraits and out of focus close-ups were the realm of the amateur.

The new era of photographic equipment has revolutionised the aesthetics of this amateur photography by upping the anti in the technological department. Today's automatic cameras have a multitude of auto focus points and utilizes technology so advanced that it had become nearly impossible to take a blurred photograph. Some of the latest cameras even anticipate the conditions with sensors, meaning that whether you are taking a shot on a snowy mountain or in a dark cave; in a moving vehicle or sitting in half lotus, each shot will turn out perfectly. And any shots that do turn out slightly fuzzy or skewed can be corrected afterwards in applications such as Photoshop, or by a digital print processing shop.

The possibility of producing such high quality images has led to many image sharing sites such as Flickr and Fotolog. These are online communities where professional s and amateurs can show off their talents and have their work rated too. It is possible to see through these sites the aesthetics of the medium changing, which has as much to do with the enhancements that digital ,technology offers whilst capturing an image as it does to the after affects that can be implemented afterwards.

Cropping, cutting and colour replacement can create images with a surreal and uncanny quality that is much more difficult to capture or manipulate on film. Consequently, the prints from the digital images differ from film prints. Film captures everything that is exposed on to it, whereas what is known as the dynamic range in digital photography means that extremes are not captured. This means that if an image has particularly shadowy or light drenched areas, a digital camera will not pick up the detail. This digital burnout produces solid black and white areas respectively.

The new wave of digital photos and digital print technology has led to a new aesthetic being seen in galleries around the world. Photographers and artists are using the new parameters as a tool to manipulate a subject, in particular, creating seamless montages of impossible images. Artists such as Jeff Wall and John Goto create images of the sublime and surreal that could not have been achieved without the digital revolution. Being able to capture images of varying scales and light so precisely and suture them together as one image by manipulating the tone and grading is a new skill for a new medium. Photographic technology will continue to evolve, producing photographs that go beyond the dark room, being rooted now with digital advancement.
About the Author
Dominic Donaldson is an expert in the photographic industry.
Find out more about digital prints and the aesthetics of digital compared to film at Cewe Photo World.
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