Thoughts on Digital Photography

Over the years I have had the pleasure of reading Robert Hirsch’s books and have enjoyed most of them. Recently I came across an interview and really liked what I read, felt it sort of resonated how I have regarded and thought of fine art photography.

Digital imaging calls attention to the fact that all photographs are human creations founded on the Renaissance three-point perspective model. For me there are no “neutral” photographs, as even NASA’s unmanned spacecraft images are the result of a human programmer’s perspective, how they are interpreted and the context in which they are seen.

What interests me are makers who propel the medium’s evolution by engaging in artistic “trouble-making” through expanding and transforming their subjects beyond the boundaries of what has been thought to represent photographic reality. This merges into how technological advances revise our notions of photographic reality. Digital’s nonlinear nature that involves more than a single dimension allows makers to infuse their images with layers of experiences and time, which then challenge viewers to look more deeply and see beyond customary storytelling structures and frozen “Decisive Moments” of time.

I am excited by artists who delve beneath the surface and link the visible to the invisible as a multifaceted means of looking inside an experience. Such an approach posits that the reliability of images is dependent on combining the outer appearance of a subject with its inner makeup in order to get to the full depth of the experience. This way of visualizing the world acknowledges that life does not follow the seventeenth-century Newtonian notions of representation within a fixed mechanical universe, but rather we live within Einstein’s relativist concepts of multiple realities.

~ Robert Hirsch


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