„no filter used“, „less is more“, „no Photoshop“ and so on are categories you can find again and again at digital photos. But why to mention that? Why shall the viewer know that this image was taken that way and has not been changed afterwards?
With analog photography you can often read “indexical”, so the prove that the object you can see on a photograph was really there, that the reflecting rays of light were caught my a box (camera) loaded with light sensitive material (film). “It-has-been-that-way” it is called. For sure there is no neutral photograph as the photographer selects the frame, exposure time, focus and everything else to capture moments – sometimes in a bigger range than he is aware of – and catches them, freezes them, positions them… Analog photos and most of all old analog photos maybe taken by family members testify to the viewer, ensure him that the picture is real, that what you can see has been there in that way, that it is a fact.
And then digital photography came including editing programs. How simply it became to change parts of your photos, to replace them, to grow them closer together… What photos to trust? And I assume that the wish to trust a photo, to believe that it shows something real is in everyone of us but which contemporary image is trustworthy? Images used for advertising are not indexical at all but you cannot be sure about photos you find on social media either.There are more and more apps allowing you to immediately change your photos. Maybe that is the reason why more and more people indicate that they did not edit their photos, to underline the indexicality, to continue with the analog thoughts. “Look! My photo is real! I saw that and I took a picture of it!”
Because that is also part of photography: the “me”. The photographer wants to become immortal by leaving something behind – a photograph. And now allow me to freely quote Dylan Thomas:
“Though photographers be lost, photographs are not – and Death shall have no dominion.”