Does modern technology improve creativity ?

Does modern technology improve creativity ?

32 posts
5 April 2014
stolenfaces
Photographer
stolenfaces
In other threads the discussion has veered in the direction of the quality of prints produced in previous eras, rather than taking those threads further off topic I thought a separate thread would be appropriate.

Is 'photographic perfection' a significant factor in the creative realm, or is it just something that is significant for jobbing photographers (and technophiles, of course)? Would Citizen Kane (or choose your own classic movie) be better if it was shot in modern perfection (4K ?).
For example I have recently been to both the Bailey Stardust Exhibition in London and a massive Brassai exhibition in Paris, at neither exhibition did I think that any print would have been more worthwhile if it were photographed and printed at the maximum quality available today. At both exhibitions there were some photos I found less interesting than others, and there were some which must have been displayed because of the rarity of the subject rather than absolute artistic merit (more so in the Brassai), but there were absolutely none that I thought if only Brassai or Bailey had had a D4x/D800 (or name your own Canon) it would have been so much better.

Posted 5 April 2014
Edited by stolenfaces 5 April 2014
Crippen
Photographer
Crippen
Citizen Kane would be a considerably worse film if it had been shot on a digital format. Film has more depth than any digital format. With Wells & Toland shooting deep focus, film, in that particular case, was clearly advantageous.

Other films, Sin City, for instance, clearly benefit from being shot digitally.

As for, does modern technology improve creativity? No, of course not. But it does democratise the process, so now anyone can have a go.

Although not everyone aspires to be artistic or creative, or even professional. Some just want to produce artless wankfodder. And that's entirely their prerogative to do so.

Dave
Posted 5 April 2014
Edited by Crippen 5 April 2014
anthonyh
Photographer
anthonyh
I posted something similar on fredmiranda.com as I am always amazed at the amount of money quite average photographers (in my opinion) spend on gear....and how there is a clear perception amongst many there that the right gear is a pre-requisit for 'quality' work.  For many that means constantly 'upgrading'...so always chasing the most modern technology.

In the end there were some interesting responses...they can be read here:
http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1278979

That aside.....just loading some film into my Bronica backs for a shoot later......surprise
Posted 5 April 2014
Edited by anthonyh 5 April 2014
Gerry99111
Photographer
Gerry99111
Yes because if gives people who couldn't have access to the old technology a chance to realise their potential and some of them may be as good as or even better than the old school masters - so now we can see their work whereas in the past, they would have never even produced it

Also, we just don't know what the old masters would have made of the new technology - would they have been better or were they good because they could work well with the limitations of film.

You now have more choice, more systems, more aids, more technology. If you want, you can shoot film the old school way, or you can shoot it any way you want.

If you want to live in a narrower world, that is your choice, but if everyone did, it would restrict creativity.

I think we are heading for convergence with visual media and have seen photographers creating outstanding short films.

You can be as creative as you want and restrict your options and still individually create something unusual. 50 years ago, the options available were a tiny fraction. At the time, you would have thought you were at the cutting edge looking another 50 years back

Posted 5 April 2014
MLP
Photographer
MLP


Did electricity being bought into the home technology improve creativity ?




Posted 6 April 2014
stolenfaces
Photographer
stolenfaces
MLP
Did electricity being bought into the home technology improve creativity ?
Interesting how misleading headlines can be - and how few people bother to read the story below. To be make the question simpler the headline should have been : Would Brassai have taken better photographs if he had multi coated lenses?
Posted 6 April 2014
Edited by stolenfaces 6 April 2014
flashysnapper
Photographer
flashysnappe..
Re op, not necessarily, it gives mores options to be creative, but if the photographer doesn't know how to use it effectively then its wasted.


Posted 6 April 2014
Chandos
Photographer
Chandos
On the whole yes, maybe. It can also discourage if new technology allows everyone to achieve it and gave it for free.
For me if there is something that nobody else has done before there is an added enthusiasm to be the first and would encourage me to invest more in my creativity. As in the case of filmmaking and photography in its early and especially pre digital days when there are very few of us doing this I'm sure there are more labour of love and money involved in being in the business.

Posted 6 April 2014
Allinthemind
Photographer
Allinthemind
It allows patience to be less important.

Posted 6 April 2014
profilepictures
Photographer
profilepictu..
I don't see one as being linked to the other, a creative person will work with whatever medium is available and which they're drawn to, those few who are exceptional will appear exceptionally within their own timeframe, those who are without vision or skill will also fail to benefit from familiar or groundbreaking technologies, within their own timeframe.

The hurdle appears to be timeframes, or sometimes it seems a fear of being left behind, not creativity.

Posted 6 April 2014
stolenfaces
Photographer
stolenfaces
profilepictures
I don't see one as being linked to the other, a creative person will work with whatever medium is available and which they're drawn to, those few who are exceptional will appear exceptionally within their own timeframe, those who are without vision or skill will also fail to benefit from familiar or groundbreaking technologies, within their own timeframe. The hurdle appears to be timeframes, or sometimes it seems a fear of being left behind, not creativity.
My point is that people who are more concerned about whether one lens or camera is better than another, than they are about taking photographs are unlikely ever to achieve more than mediocrity. To worry more about the grain/noise in a photo than the subject and composition, is surely to miss the point of creative photography.
Posted 6 April 2014
Edited by stolenfaces 6 April 2014
anthonyh
Photographer
anthonyh
Creativity is a process and technology is a means to allow the process to happen and are different in my opinion.

If I play a beat up old trumpet and then an expensive concert instrument my creativity / talent hasn't changed but the sound will have...dramatically.

Going back a 'few' years, when the modern valve trumpet was invented, it allowed Baroque musicians to do things that were previously impossible and composers wrote music to take advantage of the improved trumpet so in a sense both had more options...not sure if that equated to more talent or creativity however.

Personally I don't see options as equating to talent or creativity although for the right person the extra options (due to the technology) can allow for more creative outcomes.

Posted 6 April 2014
RedChecker
Photographer
RedChecker
IMO technology has allowed people to hone their skills faster than ever at the very least because there's instant feedback from taking a photo. Add to that the advancements, accessibility and affordability in processing & printing and many more people are able to create the technical quality of work that only a handful of 'masters' of yesteryear could achieve.

When you also consider the plethoria of equipment options such as lighting, cameras, lenses, props, processing effects/techniques etc. and the means to display them to a wider audience (via the internet) there's a good arguement that there's more creativity than ever with photography due to the benefits of technology.

For me personally, I can honestly say that without digital I'd probably still be only taking the odd 'snap' of my dog or some crappy landscape and will only have ever seen them on 4x6' prints.

Posted 7 April 2014
Allinthemind
Photographer
Allinthemind
RedChecker

IMO technology has allowed people to hone their skills faster than ever at the very least because there's instant feedback from taking a photo. Add to that the advancements, accessibility and affordability in processing & printing and many more people are able to create the technical quality of work that only a handful of 'masters' of yesteryear could achieve. When you also consider the plethoria of equipment options such as lighting, cameras, lenses, props, processing effects/techniques etc. and the means to display them to a wider audience (via the internet) there's a good arguement that there's more creativity than ever with photography due to the benefits of technology. For me personally, I can honestly say that without digital I'd probably still be only taking the odd 'snap' of my dog or some crappy landscape and will only have ever seen them on 4x6' prints.


As I said, it removes the need for patience from discovering one's creativity.
Posted 7 April 2014
RedChecker
Photographer
RedChecker
Allinthemind

As I said, it removes the need for patience from discovering one's creativity.


I'd say patience is arguably the wrong word, as that would imply that someone would actually have the time to be patient (I wish I did)

I (along with many others shooting for a hobby) work long hours for my day job in the week and can little afford free time to be patient, hence one reason many amateurs like myself are quite willing to throw £thousands at photography in order to make it easier to obtain the quality of results we want.
Posted 7 April 2014
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