What Is Digital Photography

The Definition of Digital Photography

Looking at Wikipedia’s definition of digital photography I was pleased to read that their description is as confusing to them as it is in my mind.  It reads to me like a politician saying a whole lot of stuff that has no substance.

Attribution:  Tom Wise

Attribution: Tom Wise

I am not knocking Wikipedia in any way – it is just so difficult to define digital photography.  Mainly because those who ask have an old fashioned idea about what photography is.

The best I can come up with is:

Digital Photography is an electronic method of creating photos by exposing the subject (intended image) on to a light sensitive plate and capturing and storing the image electronically on a digital memory card.

Before digital photography this process was carried out on chemically treated film which produced a transparent negative.

My own personal opinion is a definition is irrelevant. I am not one bit interested in the definition of electricity (and many other things I use on a daily basis) I just want to know it is safe and it works.  I’d rather know how it works so that I know when it needs fixing and I can avoid a fatal shock.  :)

Is Digital Photography Really An Art?

Some purists say that digital photography is not really photography because the original image can be manipulated, through the use of software, to the extent that it is a totally different photo to the original.

Attribution: Brian Robert Marshall

Attribution: Brian Robert Marshall

This is true to a certain extent but … the first photographers used to carry around large “light boxes” and dry plates to record images. I won’t go into detail here about exactly how – if you’re interested simply do a search in Google for “worlds first camera” or “worlds first photographer” to see what the founders of photography had to go through to get their images.

It was these pioneers that laid the foundations for today’s digital photography. Would they argue that each proceeding advance in equipment is not “true” photography?  Who knows?

Technology has been with us for a long time now and is here to stay.

If I can use the analogy of a steam roller driving down the road.  The steam roller is technology and you can choose to either be on it or be the road.  No choice is wrong.  With one you will simply be moving forward and with the other you will be standing still. Choosing to be the road is fine but you won’t stop the advance of the steam roller.

What Are The Benefits of Digital Photography?

The benefits of digital photography are numerous:

  • It is cheap and getting cheaper every day – today’s latest release is tomorrows dinosaur but no less useful and functional
  • Results are instantly available for viewing and sharing anywhere in the world
  • You can resize them to send by e-mail or to print as you require
  • Deleting (and virtually every other function) is at the press of a button
  • Editing is easy and the results can be dramatically different to the original
  • Colours don’t fade
  • Storage space is minimal – a square inch disk now holds more photographs than 1000 albums would have held
  • The list goes on and on

Get off the road and on to the steam roller.

Digital Photography Software

You do not need to become a master of software to produce great digital photos but it does have benefits for enhancing images – just as dark room techniques did in the old days.

Everyone these days has a digital camera of some sort and even the ones you get with mobile phones these days produce phenomenal photos.

In fact just last night I was reading about Dave Moss who won the title for the Black and White section of the “Digital Photo” magazine’s Photographer of the Year  competition with a photograph he took using his Samsung Galaxy X3 phone camera. Finishing touches were made to the photograph in Lightroom software.

If you are put off by the price and learning curve of software photography – don’t be.  There are lots of free software applications available that are easy to use.

A quick search on the Internet will give you thousands of results.

But I was Told Digital Photography is VERY Expensive

Whoever told you that told you the truth.  They could just as easily told you it is VERY inexpensive.

Both statements apply and it is entirely up to you how involved you want to get. You can pick up a really good second hand “point and shoot” camera for under $25.00.  It will take amazing photos for many years to come.

Or …

You can spend thousands on a top end professional camera that can do truly amazing things if you know how to drive it.

Photography is like any other hobby or business.  What you put in you will get out.

My Definition of Digital Photography

Am incredibly satisfying hobby that allows you to explore any number of artistic ways of presenting an image.

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