Can virtual photography really be considered photography?

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by Sam82, May 21, 2020.

  1. petrochemist

    petrochemist TPF junkie!

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    The image of the red sun over the water is a photo, the combined images are digital art, but not a photo.

    The question becomes a bit hazier if you take several photos & stitch them together to make a panorama. I'd be happy to call the final panorama a photo, but I suspect some others wouldn't.


     
  2. Grandpa Ron

    Grandpa Ron No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The problem is, trying to compare apples to oranges.

    By the scientific definition, "Photography" can be defined by a set of "facts". Traditionally this meant, a method of capturing and image onto a display media by the use of light. So yes, even the digital camera and monitor match this.

    However the definition of "Photography" has also evolved to mean the "content" of the image. At this point it can no longer be defined by fact, as it falls into the realm of "opinion". There is no wrong answer to an opinion, only varying degrees of acceptance.
     
  3. Mike Drone

    Mike Drone TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    The definition of photography: definition of photography : the art or process of producing images by the action of radiant energy and especially light on a sensitive surface (such as film or an optical sensor). I believe what you are referring to is considered graphic arts. Computer graphic arts is taught next door to my classroom, they even get degrees for their work! =]
     
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  4. Grandpa Ron

    Grandpa Ron No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I certainly would not argue over the semantics of the scientific definition of photography, it changes with the evolution of technology.

    However, my point was, defining photography includes acceptance of the fact that not everyone thinks of, or even cares about, graphic art; it a photograph by popular convention. Hence the unfortunate mix of fact and opinion.
     
  5. 407370

    407370 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Tis. An image is just an image.....
     
  6. vintagesnaps

    vintagesnaps Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    No. It would be closer to a photo illustration, but really it's digital or graphic art/illustration. Not an image, it's a digital creation.
     
  7. limr

    limr Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Um....arguing over semantics is kind of the exact point of this thread.

    There's only so far we can extend a definition before we render it meaningless. Language depends on a communal understanding of how we are using individual words. If there is no distinguishing characteristics between 'image' or 'graphic arts' or 'photography', then we're left with pointless redundancy of terms, which in term causes a lack of clear communication.

    As such, I stand firm: if the image was not created "by the action of radiant energy and especially light on a sensitive surface (such as film or an optical sensor)" then it has to be called something other than a photograph.
     
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  8. Grandpa Ron

    Grandpa Ron No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    limr,

    I certainly would not ague with your logic.

    The only thing I can offer is that, after more that fifty years as an engineer, I have learned that most folks really do not care about the correct semantics. They should, but they just do not think it is important enough to give a second thought to.

    This thread is a case in point. If you show a poster of a champion show dog or a poster of Scooby-Doo; it is a rare individual that asks if it a photograph or a computer generated image. Most folks, would simply refer to both as a photograph.

    Even those people who like to debate such questions, rarely end up agreeing on the exact definition; though it does make for interesting mind games.

    Take care
     
  9. limr

    limr Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Just because a lot of people don't think about something doesn't mean it's not a worthy topic of discussion. And someone did start a thread, so it's important enough for those of us who have participated in this thread.
     
  10. stevebohne

    stevebohne TPF Noob!

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    I tend not to think about such things. If Peter Max takes a photograph, then applies oils in his studio, it depends on how much medium was applied. Just a little? It's a photograph. The original image replaced by oils? Art. But of course, in spite of what the massive ego of Picasso thought (Every Dentist aspires to be a Doctor, every photographer aspires to be an artist), the photograph itself can be art. The reality is, I've seen many photographs that I enjoyed more than some of Picasso's scribblings.
     
  11. voyager360

    voyager360 TPF Noob!

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    No one would argue that photojournalists take photos. While photos can be artistic, the nomenclature of "photo" has changed over the years.

    Once upon a time, photos were made from film. Today, photos can come from digital cameras and a smart phone phone. In 1994, my stupid Gordon Gecko cell phone brick could not take a photo. Today, my iPhone can capture a digital photo, a digital video but wait for it... it can ALSO TAKE a panorama! (The crowd says: Oooooh! Ahhhhh!)

    The first digital cameras were introduced to photojournalists during my time at Eastman Kodak during the 1990's. During Kodak's annual Electronic Times Photojournalism Workshops and at the Camden Center for Imaging (CCI) we trained photojournalists how to move from their Nikon and Canon film-based cameras to digital.

    Back then, digital photos could not allow you to "step inside the picture." A digital photo was just a flat photo. Twenty-five years later, it's now possible to step inside a photo because the way it was captured and produced with a digital camera.

    Digital photos will continue to evolve with technology improvements to cameras and lenses. Which follows, newspapers are moving now to panoramic photography, evidenced by the fact we are licensing VPiX SaaS platforms to them, complete with ANPA/IPTC tagging of the panos for distribution to Reuters and the Associated Press for syndication.
     
  12. mariah1902

    mariah1902 TPF Noob!

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    By definition a lot of things can be said or referred as photography but truly what photography really means is that an image that we take by our camera and the picture has to say something or define something. Not all picture is a photograph. Do not just search up the definition and comment. Photography is not a joke.
     

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