Sunday, December 16, 2007

Newsweek: "Is photography dead?"

"From 'Bus riders,' 1976," an early series of fictional self-portraits by Cindy Sherman

The real question is: Are the headline-writers at Newsweek brain-dead?

In the December 10th piece Peter Plagens sounds a frantic alarm about the threats to photography posed by digital technology. Unless something is done, he warns, viewers won't believe photographs are true! "By now," he writes, "we've witnessed all the magical morphing and seen all the clever tricks that have turned so many photographers—formerly bearers of truth—into conjurers of fiction ...The medium seems to have lost its soul..."

The reader can only ache for the fallen bearers of truth. Can only pray that someday they find the strength to say no to the soulless snake called Photoshop -- whose many-hued snares are delusion. That they turn back from "photography's flight into fable" & walk again the straight & narrow road of Photo Truth.


Lionel said...

As someone who has some famous "truthful" pictures from the sixties I say that capturing the photographer's interpretation of the the truth is not THE TRUTH just an observed approximation of the truth.

When later in the 70's when I worked on documentaries I even surprised myself how plastic reality and truth can be.

Tim Connor said...

This seems obvious to me & I always wonder how so many intelligent people can believe there is one truth, one story, one answer. BTW there's an interesting discussion on this very subject right now (about a picture of Bill Clinton) on Amy Stein's blog.