Image with Commentary

April 2015

The expression "take a picture" seems to characterize photography as a technique for image reproduction, like a copy machine, rather than art. We paint a portrait, carve a sculpture and perform a play but take a picture.

Digital photography struggles with this legacy of language. Terms like photoshopped, oligochrome and intentional camera movement fill gaps in the descriptive language. Eadweard Muybridge (1830-1904) transformed sequences of still photos into motion pictures, giving birth not only to a new art but also to the language of film. Similarly, digital photography and post-processing makes leaps in language as it migrates from engineering to art.

The image which shows a robotic-assisted partial nephrectomy is the product of several photos taken at slow shutter speeds with intentional camera movement. The technique trades the sharp detail of conventional photographic reproduction for the dreamy blur of a memory (2015).

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