I learned to take photographs with a ‘film’ camera, 24 shots per roll, and you didn’t know what the results would be like until the film was processed and printed a week later. F-stops, shutter speed, film ISO, exposure, focus, etc, etc. had to be learned and understood to take good photographs and then there were the darkroom procedures to be mastered. There was very little margin for error, your settings had to be 100% right, 100% of the time.
Recently one of my sons and I were on an impromptu photographic outing. We both have sophisticated digital cameras. I still go through this same process as I’ve always done, and I produced 6 or 8 good photos from the outing. He took, maybe 500 or 600 photos – bracketed exposure, focus, etc. picked the best and ended up with 6 or 8 good photos, every bit as good as mine. With new technology, he knows enough to ‘get the job done’. He won’t regress.
So whats the point? Its this, technology has moved in a giant step and its changing the world of art, and because we’re in it we can’t see it. Has Photoshop made realist landscape and portraiture painting obsolete? Has paint become a physical material to be manipulated into different shapes and textures, as paint, not as images of ‘reality’. Will today’s kids be bothered to learn the technically difficult art of realist landscape or portraiture? Are we the last of a type who had no option but to learn the technically difficult stuff in order to ‘get the job done’.
The art is in the doing as much as the final result. Here’s the video of the painting from the previous post. See you soon.