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Technology and the Valley - Ellie Williams

 

February 2014

Dear readers,

While I spend my nights writing columns for your reading pleasure in The Voice, my days are spent running around the studios of Channel Nine, fetching coffees and scripts and ushering all sorts of interesting guests to and from the set.

The other week I was lucky enough to meet Nick Moir, an award-winning photojournalist who also has a night job: storm chaser.

From tropical cyclones in Queensland to bushfires in New South Wales and tornados in North America, Moir harnesses the power of the lens to capture a moment that is gone the next. Looking at his awe-inspiring photography (you can check it out on www.nickmoirphoto.com) got me thinking about how technology has changed so rapidly when it comes to taking pictures.

Even though technology has allowed the photographer to change aperture and shutter speed, adjust the saturation and contrast, immediately sepia, crop and reproduce images, the basic aesthetic principles have always remained at the heart of any great photo.

The artist’s eye – whether using a pinhole camera or a top-of-the-line SLR – is what defines it.

We’re living in a visual culture – everyday we’re bombarded by so many images that it’s hard for our brains to keep up.

Technology has given us the tools to take flawless images while simultaneously giving us a weapon.

No longer are high quality cameras and photo editing suites strictly the expensive realm of professionals - any kid on Moss Vale Road can own them.

When you next look at an image, be it a woman’s body in an advertisement or a press shot in a newspaper, ask yourself what the intention of the photographer is.

Is it to sell something?

To persuade?

To alarm?

This may help you navigate past the surface layer of aesthetics to access the meaning of what’s being presented to you.

Question everything.

But then there are artists like Nick Moir who set the bar for us “wanabees ”at home.

If you want to see more of how to balance technology with artistic flair and editorial accuracy, check out www.worldpressphoto.org.

Happy New Year everyone.

I look forward to another great year of the Valley Voice.

Ellin Williams