The writer lists some of the high-tech features available
today in cameras such as, "red-eye" reduction and the elimination of
facial blemishes and pounds. Of course, there are even more features to
come, all of which will enhance our experiences, fix and frame reality
for us, and make the world a better place for our children.
Musgrove contends, "Digitally enhanced photos are starting to bump up against the real world. A few news photographers have lost their jobs for digitally tinkering with their shots, but there's weirder stuff afoot as well."
Without beating a dead pixel here, it's worthwhile considering the larger societal implications of a culture that will actually have to face up to the fact that photography has never been an objective process. Today, digital technology is forcing us to realize that we've been in denial about the process of making pictures since its inception.
We like to think that what we are seeing in a picture is real. Sure, a picture is real, but it also a social construction -- a contrivance of will, an act of authority, a whim, muse, or something that tickles our fancy. This is what's real about photography. When we freeze, fix, and frame a moment in time and space we are essentially excluding a million other moments that are equally as real. A picture is real only in the sense that it represents a fragment of reality. If we alter a fragment of the real in some way during or after a picture is made how much are we altering reality?
This is a particularly sticky problem for some of us when we begin to realize how the whole logic surrounding the notion of reality or what is real is flawed.
Pictures serve personal and public needs, and by doing so they exist contently within the realm of subjectivity.
Science and technology makes it possible to re-render reality in and out of the camera -- correct the objectionable -- make the imperfect, perfect.
Ultimately, what this really means is that in an imperfect world, digital technology makes it possible for life to appear picture perfect.