Photography can be termed as one of the turning points of the modern concept of the real, but now we are on the verge of another turning point. This can be termed as another significant turning point. According to Miles Orvell (2003) “we are gradually shifting from the analogue world of roll film that dominated the last hundred years to a brave new digital world where the image is coded on computer”.
It can be said that now the digital photography has gained huge popularity as it has got numerous benefits that the analogue photography. There are several differences between film and digital modes of photography. Both the cases ultimately produce a picture, while in photography it will need a process to print out the picture on a photographic paper and in a digital case, it will be stored in the memory as information. The information can be termed as malleable and one can manipulate the information by using the proper software operators, like “can enlarge areas of the image, shrink others, move pictorial segments from here to there, import pieces of an image from outside, joining the original to a different image, change colors, and so forth". If, in the analogue age, a manipulated image was considered as an exception, in this age, a non-manipulated image is considered as a huge exception in the professional scene.
Paul Delaroche was a renowned French painter in the first half of the nineteenth century. He was one of the most important members of Parisian historical painters along with Eugene Delacroix and Theodore Gericault. His paintings had an appearance with the highest finish and were quite similar to a photograph at a point of time. After the discovery of photography, as per the popular sayings, he said the painting has found its end. As per the historians, it was said in the year 1839, when he experienced the first successful processing of a photograph, which was known as ‘Daguerreotype’. Miles Orvell (2003) states, “The Daguerreotyped plate is infinitely (we use the term advisedly) is infinitely more accurate in its representation than any painting by human hands”. This quote has been used often in different circumstances.
The photography scene has gone through a great transformation after the introduction of digital photography. With the easy availability of digital cameras, cell phone cameras, the streets are full of amateur photographers, a photo shoot set is now changed into a small movie set and every thing has been transformed into some digital screen. But still in the World, there are photographers who are experimenting with their pin-hole cameras and analogue cameras along with all the pixilated images of the digital photography and computer editing works.
In the point we can say that digitalization has made photography more and more accessible to common people. Hence the art has got the vast variety it needed to boost up. There is a saying which goes on like this ‘art and truth are fast friends’. Before the modernism caught up with the Western Culture, the most admirable quality of art was mimesis. All the objects in both painting and sculpture resembled to the real things. The first photographic prints were developed by William Henry Fox Talbot and he understood the new medium can become an art form. But his basic inspiration of discovery was to find out a way which can draw more accurately than hand and hence his first book was named as The Pencil of Nature. All the great photographers have never used any artificial methods. They used to choose their subjects with utmost sincerity and after that framed the views with clinical care only to give birth a new form of art called photography. They used soft focus, sepia tones and other different aspects to give their photographs a desired effect.
But at a point of time photography became a hobby for people who can afford that. The launch of the small and fast shattered cameras by Kodak in the year 1920 marked the general beginning of common men’s photography. In a statistical survey published in the 1950s, more than three quarter of American families owned cameras. Most of them were amateur photographers, far away from the sphere of professional photography. But still photography evolved as a popular pastime.
But every thing slowly changed. In the 1970s, the concept of basic fiction in photography entered with postmodern thinking. Basically there was a huge change in the attitude of photographers and subsequent photography. But it still had not seen the digital age. With the slow evolution of computer at a point of time, no one ever believed the power of the machine. Technology slowly gripped the lives of people. And it brought a huge change in the photography with the introduction of digital photography. Now one can click a huge number of photos with digital camera, there is no limit as there is no film, and can store it in computer. Even one can do different things with the images with the help of software that can increase the quality of the pictures.
Now, the society is living under a culture that is dominated by pixels, CGI and bytes. Even sculpture has adopted the rapid prototyping process that can give the programmer an instant view of what to be expected from the objects. So, there is no harm in digital photography as it still enhances the quality of the art. People are attracting to the form more than ever as the photographic devices are getting cheaper with every passing day. Digital cameras, cell phone cameras, small pocket cameras, there are numerous photo capturing devices available. All these are making digital photography easier than ever.
But still in the age of digital photography, there are photographers who still consider it as an art form and use the old fashioned cameras to catch up moments and views. But we can say that photography is finally escaping any type of outside dependence with the introduction of digital age. But the viewer’s attention on the reality can be detached in the digital photography. That is the most important aspect of the survival of good old fashioned photography. That is why we can say that both digital and analogue photography will exist in the time. The gallery materials are something equivalent to paintings, except these things lack the manual touch of the painter and the surface variation.
Digital photos can add exotic effects and other different things, but it needs a photographer to capture beauty and truth in a same frame. We can say that digital photography, in a way is destroying the link between the photographer and the nature. To find out a photographer’s secret link to reality one has to use film camera. But it is not quite possible in modern times. So these digital photographers have to find a way out to connect to reality. But we can still say that every art has its own place in the mind of art lovers, and photography is one of the highest art forms. So it will surely have its place in the world and will always have good exponents. Delaroche declared that painting is dead with the invention of photography, but it still exists today, after probably 200 years of photography and its subsequent developments.