Note: If you see this text you use a browser which does not support usual Web-standards. Therefore the design of Media Art Net will not display correctly. Contents are nevertheless provided. For greatest possible comfort and full functionality you should use one of the recommended browsers.

Themesicon: navigation pathPhoto/Byteicon: navigation pathDocument and Abstraction

icon: previous page

now has again brought up old questions regarding information acquisition within this discipline as well. Above all, however, the opening of its analog boundaries has cleared the way into a larger image universe, which in docking to other digitalized realms of the visual on the level of the standardizing numeric code now takes place on a more abstract, but also more trouble-free, platform.

The distinguishing characteristics of analog photography are on the recording level: rays of light fall through a lens onto a chemical carrier of a different size, where the image quality is predefined by the surface and the grain size, etc. In most cases this creates a ”negative,” an intermediate step on the way to a positive image. The way to this point already makes clear how many apparative factors influence the image creation process before a chemical process is initiated, in which by developing the negative only a preliminary stage of the actual image is reached. In the further course of work in the darkroom these parameters are multiplied to the effect that the quality of the positive image is subordinate to the qualities of the enlarger, its light source and optics, as well as the


quality of the paper, the chemicals, all the way to time and the characteristics of the room (with large-format prints, e.g., the limits of handling the apparatus, the paper or the grain are quickly reached). The author ultimately brings the relevant decisions at the junctions of these processes into the image, which shows us that what we are dealing with here is a host of variables.

On the recording level, the distinguishing characteristics of digital photography are that the rays of light also fall through a lens, but now onto an image sensor that separates the light using an RGB filter, which then according to the respective intensity is converted by an analog/digital converter into digital information and stored on a hard disk. Essential parts of conventional photography are retained, such as the lens, the viewfinder, the autofocus, the shutter release and its associated automatic mechanisms; other parts, in contrast, such as storage, are transferred to another translating process. The original negative or positive has become one image, and as an open data structure that can be easily altered at any time the further conversion is dependent on an enormous

icon: next page