What is a photograph?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Dennis Pogson, Dec 1, 2006.

  1. I think the question is important only for competitions, in which case
    it is up to the people running the competition to decide, and publish
    their criteria in the rules. I have seen this issue addressed in the
    rules of a number of competitions.

    One salon I entered had seperate categories for film and digital
    photos, but the definition hinged on what kind of camera was used. It
    did not treat the case of a scanned film print, which can then be
    manipulated just as much as an image taken with a digital camera.
    Don Stauffer in Minnesota, Dec 2, 2006
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  2. Dennis Pogson

    Aaron Guest

    I think it's a satisfactory compromise to say that most "photographs"
    are actually photographically-derived works of art. That applies to
    both traditional as well as digital works. Personally, I do not feel
    as though the merit of my work is degraded by changing the words used
    to describe it. Many would call my work "photography," and others
    might call it "digital art derived photographically." Still others
    might call it "crap." Except for the last definition, I am accepting.

    If an artist wants to get into a debate about whether or not his/her
    work is photography, they are welcome to. Such semantics neither
    contribute nor detract from the content of the work and are,
    therefore, a mere intellectual distraction.

    The dictionary definition (Random House Unabridged) suggests that a
    photograph is "a picture produced by photography." That definition can
    be interpreted in several ways. There is no true answer here to be

    Perhaps an image continues to be a "photograph" until the point at
    which its viewers decide it isn't one.
    Aaron, Dec 11, 2006
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