When it comes to digital, art is in the eye of everyone

Although I don’t really care for digital cameras – Don’t get me started on my reasons! – I openly admit that they have ignited and inspired all generations to art.

There is easily the argument that the “art” of photography has been degraded by the sheer glut of photographs showing up on Facebook, Instagram, and on people’s home hard drives.

But there is also the beauty that – for once – an art form has become almost truly open to everyone.

Louie Linguini at the beach. Copyright 2013 by T. E. Wilson. All rights reserved.

Louie Linguini at the beach. Copyright 2013 by T. E. Wilson. All rights reserved.

…when people snap photos on their camera phone, it’s mainly to take photos of their friends, self-shots, their pets, a fascinating event, or their food. … I have used my camera phone to take photos in a more artistic way. At least what I can imagine is artistic.

simpleek writing on Geek Force Network

Think about other art forms.

I love painting. I tried my hand at it for several years. I never got better than something I could share with my wife. But I can take some lovely photographs – even if it takes me 30-50 shots before I have something worthy of being “art.”

I’m not getting into an in-depth argument or dissertation on art. To me, art simply is. There is no debate. It’s equally finite and fluid. Tangible and imagined. So let’s skip the full discussion on “What is art?” for another day and just stick to this idea of digital photography.

I don’t do digital the way a lot of people are. I don’t have a smart phone and the camera on my phone is garbage. I have a small 8 megapixel Canon which I can take some nice snapshots with, but I have gotten selective on what I do with the shots I take.

As I download them to my computer, I selectively choose between each shot using internal fluid categories.

“Is this something worth saving at all?”

“Yes. Is it a snapshot just for friends? Is it something finer for blog?”

And on and on.

In the end, I now only download 1/4 or less of the photos I take with my camera and I share far fewer – even on Facebook or here on WordPress – and that, I think, is the key to saving the “art” of photography.

Through the window. Canon PowerShot with black rectangle mask. Copyright 2013 by T. E. Wilson. All rights reserved.

Through the window. Canon PowerShot with black rectangle mask. Copyright 2013 by T. E. Wilson. All rights reserved.

Photography is a creative process… . There’s a lot of beauty to be found right outside your door and stories waiting to be told through a tap of a button. … No matter how you use your camera phone, it’s still a snapshot of a life lived.

simpleek writing on Geek Force Network

People need to get over the idea that only some people can create art. At the same time, everyone else needs to realize that there is no need to share each and every image. The digital nature of the images makes them just as easy to share as to save, modify, or even delete.

Ultimately, when it comes to digital photography, art is in the eye of everyone.

3 responses to “When it comes to digital, art is in the eye of everyone

  1. I’m flattered you quoted my recent article over on Geek Force Network. I don’t mind digital photography much, but I do miss the days when we had to develop the photos you take. These days, it’s easier to take a snapshot and just let it sit on your computer or post them on Facebook. I wonder if anyone actually goes out of their way to print photos to put in a picture frame or photo album.

    I’m not a fan of posting every single photo I take on my camera phone, but if I like a shot and it isn’t something completely silly or trivial like, “this is a snapshot of my cereal today,” then I like sharing it. There’s also a part of me that’s really proud of the photo I took. I think some of the best photos I take are the ones where I’m not trying too hard to make it artistic. It comes out naturally somehow.

    • I had a much more eloquent reply, but I hit the wrong key and lost it, but the fact is that you’re right on all accounts.

      In twenty years, no one will care about the picture of my lunch posted on Facebook, but the candid and unexpected snapshot of a loved one caught smiling will still be cherished, regardless of the medium or situation.

      Thanks for visiting! I enjoyed your post a lot. I hope I did it justice with the quotes and credit.

      • My pleasure! You certainly quoted my article quite beautifully on your own post and I enjoyed reading your perspective on photography.

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