Monday, August 20, 2012

Protest Picture

Ours is an age of high resolution, Photoshop and 16 megapixel cameras with automatic settings and high ISO noise reduction. We can preview, delete, edit, sharpen edges and correct noise. We can airbrush every single picture of ourselves we post in social media. We can even shoot a major motion picture on an iPhone, and edit it on an iPad.

Don't get me wrong, I love all this stuff. I'm a big techie geek and a voracious early adopter of most things digital. But, I'm beginning to wonder where the fun is in something that has become so easy. Even the free-spirited, shoot-from-the-hip lomography movement of a few years ago has transformed into a club with rules, and an excuse to overcharge for analog photography equipment. Anyway, with Instagram's ubiquitous hipster retro filters, everybody is a lomographer.

I recently saw a T-shirt that said "Digital Cameras are Democratic."

Far be it from me to be anti-democratic.

I guess I'm just suffering from high def overload. I don't always want my camera to correct my mistakes. I don't want to edit out all the blemishes of life. It's bad enough that magazine covers have begun turning women into digital robot people. My actual world isn't blemish-free and tack sharp. I'm also weary of artificial nostalgia approximated with Polaroid overlays and 10% added grain.

I guess I'm tired of pictures that are too controlled. Sometimes the best memories are the ones where we couldn't control anything and made mistakes.

So here's a big mistake. I don't even know what the subject in this picture was, much less how it ended up in my camera. It showed up in my photo file like a lovely little artistic poltergeist reminding me that an image is never reality, and it certainly isn't hyperreality. Sometimes it's just the representation of a feeling.

My feeling about this? Kinda like I just got away with something. A little rebellious. And what's a democracy without a few rebellions?



10 comments:

Judy Williams said...

I am a HUGE fan of blur. It is so underrated. I love it in every form, whether it be purposeful or an accident like this click of the phone camera shutter. It creates a whir of color - blended softly because of (probably) movement. The world isn't tack sharp. It has lots of in between and things run together because of a hurried movement, or blink of our eye.

Gretchen said...

Nice piece today. I like the mistake but love the philosophy.

Anonymous said...

Looks like could be a color colonoscopy, escept for the stuff in the upper left.

Anonymous said...

except (Couldn't find way to delete and re-enter.)

Green Guy said...

Very cool ideas today, LA.

Shanna said...

Some of the most expressive and well liked posts on my blog included some photos that I just "found" in my files. They expressed a mood I was feeling at the time I found them. Including them in a kind of narrative sequence such as "Windstorm" was both meaningful for me and gave me a real sense that I had expressed something effectively without illustrating it.

Laurie said...

I apologize to those of you who tried to leave comments and had them disappear. Not sure what's going on.

Laurie said...

Thanks Glimpses reader and friend Don for sending me Jean Renoir's thoughts on the subject! It's a great read:

http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/movies/2012/08/jean-renoir-on-realism.html

Sally said...

I tried to post yesterday how much I really like your ideas. The Jean Renoir link is wonderful. Thanks for mentioning something that has been bothering me, too.

Sally

Laurie said...

Sorry about the weird posting issues, Sally, I had trouble logging in and out, too, but I believe whatever was gumming up the works has ungummed itself!