Tuesday, January 30, 2007

What is a photograph?

I've picked the time of day to get the light I want. There's the subject. I move around to get the right point of view, make sure the tree doesn't look like it's growing out of anyone's head and no gratuitous detail is there to distract the viewer, and push the button.

...but according to flickr, it's a screenshot, not a photograph, because I did it in Second Life.

OTOH, if I pull out my camera and take a picture of my monitor with a spreadsheet on it, that's a photograph. I used a camera, and actual photons were used in the creation of the image.

In Second Life, a good... whatever it is... requires attention to lighting and composition. I've used forced perspective. <church_lady> Techniques used in... oh, I don't know... could it be... photography? </church_lady>

I can't take advantage of depth of field, as far as I know, or control the exposure to get (or stop) motion blur. OTOH, with a digital camera you need GIMP or Photoshop to get the equivalent of double exposure, or Sabatier effect... does that mean using a digital camera isn't really photography?

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