Every now and then I run into conversations where people say that “that is no photograph” or “you cannot call that a photograph”. So I started thinking when do the transition to digital art happens. In my business card it says that Im both photographer and digital artist since I also try to make that difference with my work. Most of my work are digital art, not photographs.
But when that image changes into digital art? What is that point when it ends being a photograph and turns into something else? Is it still a photograph after few presets in lightroom, or so maybe some retouching in photoshop to fix things. If I combine 2-5 images into one to make a seamless panorama, is that still a photograph? How about if I retouch image to have totally different background, or overpaint portrait with light and shadows to get that “painted” look.
Well lets put some images in here and I try to see myself where I think the change happens.
First image pair is just a landscape. First image is Straight out of camera file with nothing done to the image, just exported it to jpg, and the second is tweaked with Lightroom and exported to jpg.
In my mind both are still photographs, but the other is bit better, which one ya think?
The next comparision is about portraits. Now we have three different images of the same source. One of the camera, another bit retouched, and then something else.
I would still call the first and the second image photographs, but I think that the last image starts to be Digital art since the whole image seems totally different than the source.
Lets put this thing to the extreme now. This is all Digital art from now ..
So this shot was totally shot to be part of Digital art. The raw file from camera is totally unusable (only as part of making of documentation) but it was created to be part of original digital art.
So as conclusion. In my mind photograph changes into digital art when you take a that photograph and turn it into something else, what ever your heart desires. Photographs is a part of the image, really important part, but it is not anymore in its original state.
But also all my photographs are not Straight out of Camera. They are shot in RAW format and I will develope and tweak them to my liking. They are still photographs in my mind.
I totally respect the old Masters and also people today capturing those memorable images on film or digital cameras. I still concider my self also a photographer cause In my work the photography, light, pose, composition etc are still there. I just use those photos to create something that can be only imagined.
There are so many ways of doing art and photography and it is all good. As long as you are happy of what you do. This is what I do .. and Im proud of my work.