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Adam Hand
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It is striking how similar what you describe above is what I'm feeling now. I work for a large company, miraculously getting paid for doing what I love; cameras, lighting, video, post production etc. The issue is; I'm the technical guy. I know lenses, cameras, software tricks, but I never get to pursue the grand artistic goal of making work that is meaningful and transcends era to become timeless. It seems unattainable with digital tools. Early digital art looks quaint to me, like cave paintings. It has merit and value, but nothing has the impact of a painting by one of the masters. On top of that, had these artists not printed their work, it would have been lost to the decay of the drives it lived on and eventually even the obsolescence of the file format they were held in. There really is no mastery with technology, things improve, the old looks dated and we move on to the next trend, filter or resolution ceiling. Photography is unfortunately tied to technology. After all, more than a century ago photography made having your portrait painted seem like a quaint, dated practice. At this point, there's no longer much skill needed to achieve perfect sharpness or resolution. No masterful skills practiced for years in order to get perfect color or exposure. There's no chemical mixture or timing to toil over to get perfect color shifts or low grain. It seems the mastery of photography is reliant on one's ability to use it to keep a record, to use photography to tell a story. The only thing a person with a great phone, a budget for plane tickets and an instagram account can't do is make a series that tells a story of what a town is like to live in, capture details of an event that will never occur again or record living things that may soon disappear. For me, I will continue to collect old cameras and shoot with a Sony so I can adapt every lens from Argus to Zenit in an attempt to bridge the past with the present, where manually focusing and pressing the shutter button are the only remaining parts of the old process.....and even those are gone for most, killed off by the touch screen.
Adam Hand is now following The Typepad Team
Mar 23, 2016