“Do not have I came across the limits of the photographic potential. Every horizon, upon being reached, reveals another beckoning in the distance. Always, I’m on the threshold.” -W. Eugene Smith
The invention of the camera liberated painting from its reportage role. Gone was the need to produce a likeness, detail the events of the story, painting was free expressing emotions. True what had gone before contained a psychological content but now painting could experiment and through imaginative interpretation permit the emotional content to predominate.
Since the 19th century evolved and throughout the 20th century painters from the impressionists through the cubists and expressionists to the minimalists could to make use of colour, line and form to go straight to the emotional content of their work. The representational aspect of the work become coincidental and was pushed to the point so it became similar to lying on the grass making shapes out of clouds. Enjoyable as it can be it is secondary to the type of clouds.
The introduction of the digital darkroom has with all this freedom to photographers. The number of tools to repair and boost the camera’s capture when pushed to its extremes produces a range of fascinating effects. When added to the filters included in the higher software, abstract paintings for sale images may be produced that any comparison to the first photograph is purely coincidental.
With the usage of these tools, the skilled photographic artist can take the pop song and create, in visual terms, the lyric beauty of a baroque symphony or the down town jive of a jazz variation without a tree or high rise in sight. Just the light captured by the camera and fine tuned into something different, something new that comes from the photographer.
The photographer has been liberated such as the painter before them by technology. Now photographs can explore the entire array of human experience including those that don’t have any words expressing them. Large statements will soon be accessible by the photographer not just in physical terms. Like their painter counterparts a big canvas has become the order of the day. This canvas can express feelings rather than just illustrate them denotes that the photograph has become a grownup in the arts