VR and Photography

Discussion in 'Ethics and Philosophy' started by Raspy, Oct 30, 2017.

  1. Raspy

    Raspy Member

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    In photography and even in the digital age, the print has become the finalization of an image. The physical rendering gives the experienced viewer a sense of the artists skillset. For instance let’s say there is a show of two artists, one uses the carbon print process and the other chooses cyanotype. The two can be considered only as an artistic choice but craft is also a main proponent of the choice. Can the artist cyanotypist accomplish a successful carbon print or was that out of their skillset.

    Even though most shows are digital prints, there has been a revival in alternative processes and it seems as if the alternative process legitimizes a photography as a craftsman as well as an artist. But what if one was able to present what looks like a pristine carbon print without the craft element.

    This is the same argument that digital would do to film, but VR has the capability to render a print in the same size, light, and dimensionality as if the print were right in front of you. How does this change the relationship to an artist's craftsmanship. Obviously VR is currently in the age of sticks and rocks, but the potential for it is unlimited, and honestly it's not too far ahead. One day we might walk into a blank room, activate a switch on our watch or smartphone and the gallery comes to life right before our eyes.

    Another note on VR is the potentiality for the individual to host a true gallery show. We here it now that a website is like a gallery space, but the gallery space is limited to the screen you are viewing it on. What if the gallery space was any room in your house, or even rendering in real time as you walk along the sidewalk and was curated by an emerging artist trying to make a name from them and their fellow artists.

    This are just some things I’ve been thinking about when it comes to the realm of VR and how it will affect the art of photography.


    Feel free to comment, I really want to hear what the Photrio community has to say.
     
  2. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    Well , I print silver , pt pd, tri colour gum and for me the look of the print is really important, it is an object that I can touch move around , open the matt , look at the brushstrokes, look at the many layers that make a multiple hit print, see how it is signed , dated, and editions.. there is a lot of touchy feely for people like me..
    I am not sure that VR will give me the same emotional effect...

    I know of a photographer who is going to capture at High Resolution a composite of many hundreds of images of a single douglas Fir then with the units to create objects recreate the douglas fir to original size.. where this tree will find a home I am not sure , but I think I will have a great emotional effect seeing this object.... I will be able to touch it , walk around it , and marvel at the complexity and technological advances we have made in the last 15 years.

    This tree would be a VR replica of the real thing and I may be overwhelmed and think this is the new direction of photography...
     
  3. Craig75

    Craig75 Member

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    its just the logical progression from stereo photography which must be well over 100 year sold by now
     
  4. dasBlute

    dasBlute Subscriber

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    Ah, the grand slippery slope.

    Indeed, someday soon, you may find yourself wandering about, video-game-style in a movie.

    But:

    if, "VR has the capability to render a print in the same size, light, and dimensionality as if the print were right in front of you",
    Then, why even print, when the target is this 3D pseudo environment?

    If "the gallery space was any room in your house", who needs a physical gallery? Why go to Santa Fe?

    What If you could *completely* replicate say, the Patriarch Grove, or the Louvre... Now what?

    For places you have no possibility of going to, it'd be cool.
    Also, for viewing things that do not exist, wandering amongst the dinosaurs for instance...

    otherwise... I'd rather hold the print, smell the tree, stand in the Louvre.
    But then, I'm old :smile:
     
  5. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    Raspy, are we having a general discussion on (a) whether and (b) how soon VR will replace any print hung on a wall or held in the hand? I note that you have definite ideas as to how VR will progress and how good it will get i.e. its advantages in the near, middle or distant future depending on predictions. Don't we have to know a lot about VR to make meaningful comments and is this a simple multi-conversation for the sake of a debate about the future of VR between dedicated analogers which may be enjoyable but not actually lead anywhere or is there an objective?

    Can I ask what is the background to why this particular subject exercises you enough to make it your opening thread. Will we help you to complete an article, thesis, survey or generally to "move some needle" as the saying goes?

    Thanks

    pentaxuser
     
  6. Maris

    Maris Member

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    VR is another way of doing "looks like". A physical photograph is an example of something that "is". To invoke the bleedin' obvious there are many ways where "looks like" doesn't substitute for "is". For example if one wants permanent pictures that are purely eye-readable without the support of fancy technology then photographs win and VR fails.
     
  7. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Do I assume correctly that "VR" is shorthand for "Virtual Reality"?
    If so, I'm sure that I would be interested in what high level VR can do, but that wouldn't mean I wouldn't seek out and probably prefer "AR" (Actual Reality).
    A few years ago I went to an exhibition of original, contemporaneous prints of some of Henri Cartier-Bresson's most iconic photographs.
    Those prints were fascinating to me, even when some of them showed signs of their age. At least part of that fascination arose because of the knowledge that Henri Cartier-Bresson was personally involved in their creation (mostly through instructions to his printer).
    There is too much "Virtual" in VR to supplant that sort of value.
     
  8. tedr1

    tedr1 Member

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    That is the world of physical objects, I belong in that world, I collect pictures and books and LPs and CDs. I have a house where I keep them. That has been the traditional way for a very long time, millennia.

    The personal computer, the telephone network and the smartphone have started the creation of a different world where some physical objects can be replaced with digital images and in a few years young people will leave school having only known the world in which a smartphone is a normal possession. Perhaps they will not be interested in physical books and physical pictures? They already enjoy digital music playback using portable players and the internet. Perhaps they will not wish for a house with a living room and a TV set and pictures on the wall? They may well be very interested in VR. I don't know, my ways are set I won't be joining in, but I can see that VR is a logical progression of the smartphone.
     
  9. Ko.Fe.

    Ko.Fe. Member

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    Electronic image has nothing to do with analog print.
    Sure it is possible to create something fancy. But people will still go in museums. And quality analog print is worth of museum wall.
    VR is worth of fill in empty spaces in museums as well :smile:
     
  10. lantau

    lantau Subscriber

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    I'm not sure about that. If I hadn't started film photography in addition to digital photography, prints would only be a very rare afterthought. Even now I print only few of my pictures, mostly because of time limitations.

    This is only a hypothesis, buy ovserving my own tastes and what other ordinary people are doing:

    I've noticed a lot in this forum that people always assume the print to be the final product and the scan on screen something like a contact sheet. That is not wrong, but I believe the trend is towards viewing on screen only. I believe people just don't care about prints anymore. I remember the time when the transistion to digital came, and it was not only the instantaneous nature of the digital cameras but also the fact that we got rid of the need to print that excited people. I myself would never pay good money for a 'fine art print', no matter how good or by whom.

    People still buy prints of a tiny number of their digitals, of course, but it is only one way of sharing and presenting. The trend for physical presentation is going towards the photo book anyway. Usually a memory of a certain event, to be shared once or twice when guests are around.

    I'm not saying prints are bad. I do dark room printing on a small scale. So film photography kind of brought me back into the fold again. But for me it is more the process, than the result. I'm a geek, not an artist. I'm not trying to judge, only saying where I think that the trend is going.

    Then on top of that is the difference of passivly and actively lit presentation. I prefer the latter. So for me slides are the best possible presentation, especially on a light plate. A computer screen would be the runner up if it had a resolution high enough to compete with a print. So it depends on which aspect is more important for you. If it is resolution the print is #2 and screen #3. If you like the brilliance of the backlit presentation a high res screen can compete.

    That may be only my taste, but don't forget that people today are completely primed to computer screens. Paper presentation is receiving an ever shrinking share.

    So your idea of future VR presentations would allow to walk through a virtual gallery looking at prints, which look as good as a slide. Once the technology has progressed enough, obviously.
     
  11. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    Well we are certainly creating the kind of debate that I suspect Raspy thought and hoped we would. While we continue to add our views I suspect we will hear nothing from Raspy. It does concern me that we get an "out of the blue" thread as a first thread that is so "futuristic" I think we deserve to know a little more about why we have this question. If I had been stopped in the street by a total stranger and asked about the effect of VR on analogue photography( VR I assume means virtual reality but this hasn't been answered yet), my reaction would have been to ask if it was a market survey of some kind. I'd be looking for an ulterior motive in the broadest sense of the word "ulterior"
    When such a question is posed on a forum we seem to lose all our normal inhibitions which prompts us to ask "Why"

    pentaxuser
     
  12. nmp

    nmp Member

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    I am waiting for the time I can go to a virtual Grand Canyon with my virtual camera, take a few gorgeous virtual shots and show them in the aforementioned virtual gallery.
     
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    Raspy

    Raspy Member

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    You are going waaaaaay to deep with this. I was posing my thoughts and simply wanted to see what everyone else thought. I got all caught up on that one episode of black mirror where the guy dies from a VR headset and went on a tangent on how that sort of hyper reality could affect photography.
     
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    Raspy

    Raspy Member

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    I let this discussion askew in typing VR as a broad thing. The VR im suggesting is the type seen in Season 3 Episode 2 in which the guy gets immerssed in a VR which bypasses the eyes and connects straight to the brain. This idea of bypassing our inhereted way of seeing through the eyes and dowloading straight to the brain would provide a VR that can look, feel, and even smell accurate. (If the information is downloaded straight to the brain, it could bypass the other senses as well as the visual.) So thats where my ideas come in. About 10-20 years in the future VR is going to be something thats all encompassing and THATS where I think physical and digital will have this blurry line.
     
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    Raspy

    Raspy Member

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    I was just trying to contemplate more on the very real idea of merging the physical and the virtual.

    And to answer your second comment, this all started with a conversation I had with one of my professors and I wanted to see what other people thought about the matter. (Maybe it wasn't the best idea to post this as my first thread but it was on my mind and i wanted to jump into a forum feet first lol)
     
  17. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    I can only speak for myself but I suspect that members outside the U.S. may have no idea of what Season 3 is about. If you want to involve those members you might want to enter a link to what I assume is a TV show.

    pentaxuser
     
  18. OP
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    Raspy

    Raspy Member

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  19. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    Rita Leistner show at Stephen Bulger Gallery had over 1000 people attend in one very long day.. Just need to have interesting material and good promotion.
     
  20. OP
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    Raspy

    Raspy Member

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  21. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    I watched The Black Mirror for all of 5 minutes in an open-minded fashion but it was no clearer to me after 5 minutes what it was about. I then lost interest I feel the the OP is convinced that VR is the future. It replaces reality such as analogue prints with a form of illusion. Raspy, you mention that you are an analogue shooter but have said nothing about your experience of analogue or why given it's your chosen medium you seem to prefer a VR future.

    What is your experience of analogue? Why target an old guard which sticks to analogue about the future of VR?

    pentaxuser
     
  22. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

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    Well, there are a few Sci-fi book plots that have VR for the masses, the real thing for the elites. If we get to a point where we plug into a VR world that can convince our minds that the body has had a physical experience, what and what is not real becomes immaterial.
     
  23. Nodda Duma

    Nodda Duma Subscriber

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    An interesting take on the topic is a recent, very good book called "Ready Player One" by Ernest Cline. Also a great book if you are nostalgic for the 80s.


    You seem to be giving the OP a rather rough time about idle thoughts. Perhaps you are reading too much into his post.
     
  24. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    Well I was trying to be honest about what I learned about VR from the Black Mirror. I was also just curious about his analogue experience

    pentaxuser
     
  25. punctum-brewster

    punctum-brewster Member

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    I like where the ideas in this thread are going.

    This train of thought reminds me of John Berger's Ways of Seeing, the late-1970's BBC special. He addresses the difference between seeing an original work in its original place and context versus seeing a reproduction or representation. Screens are pretty well covered, so it's mostly up to date and really fascinating to watch through.

    For me in 2018, the act of bothering to make a digital print or using film says something about the importance of the work or process of creating the work to the creator. That level of investment imbues it with some value that demands consideration from the viewer. I don't think that's something we can ignore.

    For viewers, I thing bothering to physically move yourself off the couch and over to a location to view work in a location invests ME in the process, and changes how I experience it versus simply scrolling past it on some device while I sit here in my chair.

    I guess in either case the method of doing the extra work is kinda arbitrary, but we also see the same thing in DJs still releasing and playing vinyl out in clubs across the world: That **** is heavy and it's no small thing to decide to do that instead of just loading up some MP3s on thumb drives. All in all it's about people taking the time and making the effort to share together in a transfer of ideas, art, communication or whatever. It's deliberate and active and I think it'll always be worth doing and be done by people that want to engage that way together. :smile:
     
  26. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    hi raspy
    sounds like an interesting concept and I am sure it will have its place.
    i heard a radio program a week or 2 ago about a holocaust survivor who
    took part in a project and became a hologram that answered questions about being
    a holocaust survivor, he didn't become part of the borg or anything like that, but
    was taped and flmed and whatever else they do to created a hologram. he spent hours
    in questions and answer sessions answering virtually every quesion you could imagine.
    he was on a stage ( the hologram ) and people interacted.
    it sounds like a VR gallery space would be a great thing. one more thing for people to
    fall into a rabbit hole doing LOL
    first it was make prints, then a portfolio then in the 90s a hyper text ( remember that ? )
    then a html website then flash then whatever it is now ... for the visual on a screen
    seems us humans can never get enough, and we are always finding a way to present things to help
    people in the remotest of places to catch a glimpse of the real thing. thats not a bad thing.
    im sure what you have written about will become a reality, without a doubt.
    i know people who were working on telemedicine type stuff in the 90s. think
    the great great great great grandparent of tacetime. it went over a regular phone line
    refresh rates were not the best, image size was miniscule ... but still, in rural america or
    ex soviet states or places like india were there were not dr speicalists who were able to diagnose eye or other medical conditions
    even the less than we accept now as even approaching the "norm" worked and worked well to make peoples' lives better.
    now we have this sort of thing in everyone's pocket and it hasn't been very long..
    doesn't seem too far away that the vr you mention might be more real than reality .. and i am sure a lot of people will love
    being in their own hollow deck or ... whatever the simulation program mouse made on the matrix.
    and don't forget, he knows the lady in red very well and can arrange for you to have a cup of tea or coffee with her.
     
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