[QODLink]
Listening Post

Pixelating the reality?

Photography is a subjective medium, and how it is used will always depend on who is using it.

Last Modified: 12 Jun 2013 15:00
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback

The late American writer Susan Sontag said that to photograph is to frame - and to frame is to exclude. She was saying that, as a medium, photography is, and has always been, subjective.

However in the digital era there is a new and growing subjectivity in photojournalism, one that you have most likely seen but not necessarily noticed.

It is called post-processing. It is when photographers digitally enhance their work to make it more captivating to the eye. The practise has raised some ethical questions within the industry and underscoring the debate is the winner of the 2013 World Press Photo award.

It shows a burial procession in Gaza last year and was digitally enhanced to the point that it was accused of being a composite. That clearly was not an issue for the judges, which tells you how much the industry has changed.

But the question remains, when it comes to digital enhancement - where should photo-journalists and news organisations draw the line? The Listening Post’s Nic Muirhead, reports on this year’s World Press Photo Awards and the growing use of post-processing in photojournalism.

Photography is not reality, it is a subjective medium. And for now, how it is used will always depend on who is using it and the tools - the growing number of tools - at their disposal.

"Photography - both digital and analogue - creates a matrix. In the analogue era these were called negatives, in the digital era they are called raw files.

We use complex, modern, advanced instruments which can radically change an image. We use them in a journalistic context and know their limitation. We voluntarily apply limitations to the tools offered by these technologies, because journalism can only be different from simple photography through a set or ethical rules."

- Francesco Zizzola, the co-founder of 10b Photography

321

Source:
Al Jazeera
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Featured on Al Jazeera
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Featured
Anti-government secrecy organisation struggling for relevance without Julian Assange at the helm.
After decades of overfishing, Japan is taking aim at increasing the number of bluefin tuna in the ocean.
Chinese scientists are designing a particle-smashing collider so massive it could encircle a city.
Critics say the government is going full-steam ahead on economic recovery at the expense of human rights.
Spirits are high in Scotland's 'Whisky Capital of the World' with one distillery thirsty for independence.
Mail Chimp Subscription Form 2
join our mailing list