Marja-Leena Rathje
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Hockney on photography

Yesterday I wrote about the Death of Photography debate sparked by David Hockney.

Today I came across MAeX Art Blog's entry on this same subject and the link for the Hockney interview in Guardian Unlimited.

It really is an interesting debate that concerns all artists who work with photographs, including myself. As a printmaker, I have used dark-room or "wet" process to prepare the negatives or positives for the photo-etchings I created. Later the computer replaced this process and allowed a greater ability to manipulate the image even further. Artists in every medium have always "manipulated" their imagery to portray their own visions.

Marja-Leena | 14/03/2004 | 2 comments
themes: Digital printmaking, Photography, Tools and technology


(I'm feeling opinionated just now.)

Hockney's been living in an air castle if he thinks photography's ever truly been a touchstone of verisimilitude. "The camera never lies" is a Hollywood myth; no one, certainly, could ever equal movie cameras for taking pictures of things that simply weren't there.

And pictures from digital cameras are no more easily manipulated than pictures from film cameras; Photoshop was after all written for altering scanned photographs.

There's plenty of reasons for preferring film cameras to digital, but neither are any more or any less accurate recorders of objective reality than their operators. If there's any truth to be had, it springs from the photographer and not her equipment, which is so for all artists. It's not the media, but the messenger who is responsible for getting it right.

Right on the mark! You said it very well.