What is Real? Digital or Analog Photography

Liz Wells’ Photography: A Critical Introduction, the subject of electronic imaging is discussed by theorists and art critics. In chapter seven, the “truthfulness” of photography is an important discussion when considering digital or analog photography. Does digital photography remove the truth? What is the truth? What is “normal”?

Sarah Kember, a writer on new media, photography and feminist culture, suggests that what is real “has already been lost in the act of representation.” If you create a representation of someone or something, are you the truth? Or real? Photographs may be a true representation of the image that has been captured but some will argue that the photograph is not the “truth”.

Authentic is another label used to describe an image, whether analog or digital. Authentic: based on facts; accurate or reliable. I would have to say that a photographic image could be authentic, based on facts, something that resembles the original. Truth, on the other hand, means that which is in accordance (conforming) with fact or reality. Does an image conform to reality? Maybe…I will let you know when I figure it out.

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