For good or bad, digital communication has revolutionized and transformed our lives. We are now not merely spectators, but active participants empowered to reflect what we see and feel. In the past, only a privileged few had the ability to influence mass media and movements. Nowadays, amateurs and casual users have the ability to contribute content and impact society.
The seminal founders of photography found true meaning through everyday encounters. Alfred Stieglitz photographed his lovers, Henri Cartier–Bresson tried to freeze a “decisive moment.” Ansel Adams studied nature; for Louis Hein it was social reform, and Robert Frank looked for meaning in everyday American life.
You could believe that the photographic image was a fraction of a moment based in reality. But with the new digital technology, things have shifted and photography can no longer claim its old hold on reality. Photography lost some of its imbedded innocence. Nothing can be trusted, since almost everything can be manipulated.
The art of seeking light, as a fragment of what’s real and true, is less certain or convincing. Today’s photography can either shed light or obscure it. It has taken me a long time to understand that, as I am trying to interpret light reflecting off different surfaces, I am actually seeking meaning and truth.