The Relevancy Of Your Photography In The Future
The images we make today warrant thinking about their relevancy in the future. Trendy filters and treatments can be a distraction and date the image (and artist) long after the trends have passed. Is there a chance that the photograph hanging above a family’s couch will be taken down because of some “really cool” thing you’ve overdone in Photoshop?
Styles change, and the even the canon of art shifts, just look at the eras of art history and follow the evolution to what is popular today. The word timeless is far overused with photography and is on the verge of being something obnoxious when I hear it. Making an image with today’s trends by adding over-Photoshopped looks will not carry the weight of “timelessness” in twenty years. The cheesy treatment outshines the subject.
Adding filters and Photoshopping the latest look, just for the sake of adding, is a distraction. Most times the content can stand on its own.
I have fiddled wth filters and processes, but I soon learned that the image needed to be left alone. The treatment was in the photo already; perhaps in the subject, or in the obvious inspiration or admiration of the subject. The subject and the story you tell with that subject should be what’s recognized (and valued) in the future, not some novelty treatment.
There are growing sub-genres of art popping up quickly. People can find the art they want, and relevancy is certainly related to one’s individual taste. The heavy use of treatments of today may still be appreciated in the future, but may be considered niche and a little campy. Photographer’s should look ahead as far as possible into the future and ask themselves if their images will be relevant technically and aesthetically.
Realizing that the future will be different than how we may dream it, we must have the satisfaction that our images will have a place in the future, as well as history. With intent and purpose, passion and forethought, maybe we can leave a legacy in images for future generations to enjoy, not ridicule.
I’m not advocating that treatments are never used, but I am suggesting that we take care in the possible overuse of them. Haphazardly snapping away and overlaying a filter to boost the art factor or “save it from disaster”, only masks the image and it’s true merits. As the saying goes- “You can put lipstick and a dress on a pig, but it’s still a pig.”