Smile for the camera

Does anyone else feel like the world today is over saturated with digital photos?
These days it seems everyone puts way too much value into digital photographs. I would say as much so as fine pieces of art. Millions of people using Photoshop to edit and manicure that perfect picture, which in the end just distorts the truth. The photo becomes a lie.

With all the digital photos in the universe, and so many being so very similar, does a photo lose its value, does it lose its uniqueness, because you can always snap and edit, snap and edit, snap and edit until you get it right? Erase. Do over. Try again.

You can edit life as we know it.

So, with almost all photos being mass produced, are they still considered art, unique, individual? Or, are they just disposable eye candy for the masses? Can you actually remember the last 10 photos you viewed? How about the very last one? I bet most of you can’t.

People seem to love taking pictures of themselves and of everyday menial places. For example, here I am on my webcam, right-side profile. Here I am eating at a restaurant. Here I am brushing my teeth. Here I am posing while pushing my backside out and having my hands on my hips because I am so hot. Here I am making ridiculous faces. Here I am in front of nowhere in particular and isn’t it just so fantastic. Here I am on my webcam, this time left-side profile. You get the picture.

It seems like people want pictures, and an abundance of them, to sell themselves as interesting individuals even if they are of nothing in particular. It’s like these photos create a persona of a more spectacular life than it really is for the individual. An amateur celebrity, if you will.

Honestly, what are peoples’ obsessions with constantly changing profile pictures? For example, are you not who you were three days ago? Or are you now a more manicured you? Did life change that much for you to warrant changing your profile picture or are you just bored with you? Granted, there are some exceptions like births, vacations, and well — that’s pretty much it.

I don’t want to live vicariously through others’ photos. That isn’t to say that I don’t think some photos aren’t quite fantastic. Some really are. Take Ansel Adams, for example. He may not have used digital media and instead used old school film, but his photographs stand the test of time and are simply remarkable. I can recall them by memory quite easily, too.

I also believe some artists who choose to use digital as their medium do create some very remarkable photos. And I don’t disagree with the use of photos alongside text to paint a better picture that enhances one’s message.

So it isn’t to say that some photos don’t move me. Inspire me. Motivate me. Or simply brighten my day. I’d just rather stand on my own two feet and take in the view with my own two eyes. So, I say cherish and hold onto the pictures you love.

Embrace them.

Don’t mutate them.

Adam Petrash believes photos should capture a real moment in time, not our idea of perfection.

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