Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Photographs: not?

If a photograph is a picture made with light then a print from an inkjet printer is not a real photograph. The penultimate part of the process, the printing, does not use light to effect its ends. It uses inks, dyes, nozzles, sprays, dots, mechanics, electronics, chemicals, but it does not use light. That only returns to the equation when the print is viewed, the ultimate objective of any photographic process. The wet print and the projected image are the only two pure forms of photograph.

I shall be writing here principally about images made on inkjet printers - that's what I do - so this little problem of definition needs needs to be dealt with right at the start. I'm off to make a portrait of Matthew right now - will he take the turban off, I wonder? Later, I'll talk about the beautiful unifying power of the pixel.