I’ve been working on video content for a good year, maybe more now and photographing for close to 10 years. There’s something so tactile and honest feeling about creating with an instrument such as a Camera. The SLR allows the user to perceive a place in the world that we wouldn’t normally think of whether it be Point of View (POV)(internalised or externalised) or possibly an abstract interpretation of perspective. This freedom of choice, combined with the users lust for creation can be a more than potent mix when finger hits shutter. While many reading at this point will be thinking… this is just existential bullshit… and for some of you that could be correct. I just feel strongly that the camera truly is one of the last bastions of human art.
People may love photos and of course I do but have you ever thought what the world would be like without them. If everything were an artists rendering or their interpretation of a scene then we would have a rather skewed perspective of reality. Imagine if the first World War were documented by Van Gogh or even a realist like Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot. It would be a strange place to have grown up in. Up until the late 1800’s photography was a heliographic plate with an image essentially scarred into it and not an easily viewable image either.
The invent of film technology and later colour was to be the first and foremost development in the way humans recorded their own history. This was prior to computers and even complex developing techniques so any alterations to the image were out of the question. A photo was a true portrait of what you saw… that’s right you could believe a photo. Sure the lenses weren’t as great and the film stocks were rubbish (mostly during the war years from my understanding) but the idea and ambition were showing in spades. Around this time was also the rise of motion picture cameras and the use of 35mm film.
Flick forward to 2012, we can buy a DSLR that is the size of a standard SLR but has the same features as a stills camera but also can create video works ranging from Music Video to short film. To think that in the space of 100 years we have managed to take two film related mediums, like the stills camera and the motion picture camera, and make it into a hybrid art form that is slowly changing the way we perceive film. Many people will not know it yet but DSLR cameras have already moved from the photographic world to being used as ‘B’ Cameras on full feature film sets. Films such as Captain America, Acts of Valor and many more are starting to use this DSLR technology to recreate the way we view cinema, and in most cases without the audience being aware. Hell you can make a short on an iPhone if you are dedicated enough, with some gear houses making support rigs for mobiles to help stabilise the footage.
With these creations comes the rise of Youtube and various other online video depositories. So many people take for granted the content we can view and how we view it. We are living in possibly the first age where we will be able to, in 10 years time or so, look back and see our world in detail. Not just detail though, we will have comprehensive moving detail. We have personalities, politicians, musicians, regular joes and the guy in the street all posting video and photo content. There are children who’s first steps, big recitals, first kisses etc. have been posted to Youtube and the like. Using Youtube, Instagram and Facebook you could essentially follow the entire life of a child born from 2004 onwards. This would be a first, for the users are now essentially becoming the engineers of their own autobiographical work.
Nothing new has been stated above but I feel it needed to be said. We live in a amazing age, and I’m glad we might be able to look back on it in a way that no generation has before. Many may not see this as a good thing, but I am glad someone in the future can see where we may have gone wrong.