Visuals and imagery are a key part of message communication, and how they present themselves in the form of meaning is forever changing. From the most basic and traditional methods that have persisted over the millennia to the technological innovations from the past century that has produced visuals that was never considered possible, the image had always been an authentic representation of a person or place, but with the advent of social media and highly accessible imaging technologies, the definition of an authentic image has changed significantly as photography practitioners drastically change their practices to those that would have been seen 50 years ago as the photo is no longer just an image but now “our local [networks] coincides with the image as the visual part of multitudinous data exchanges.” (Adami, 2016, p.264) With social media networks becoming essential to the experience of photography with Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and Tumblr becoming major sites of imagery, the process of a moment being captured in a moment of time to the viewing the image has changed out perception and interpretation of time and place. Traditionally, capturing and producing a tangible image would require time, and as such the viewer reads the image as a memory, and would place the time-place notion of the image in the past. However with digital photography and its social media channels, “contemporary vernacular photography necessities a renewed perception of photographic time.” (Baker, 2016, p.14) In my image, a pen illustration of a digital camera with the screen depicting the editing interface reminiscent of Instagram, an idea being that “the invention of every new medium always combined earlier inventions.” (Stober, 2004, p. 500) The statement The image has forever changed is represented by each element of the image, and reflects how imagery is now received. The pen drawing took me approximately 25 minutes, as I found a reference and took some time to develop the shape and the form through observation. The image of the camera itself represents the process to get the image from capture to print, through the use of an SD card and then uploading to a computer, and finally sending to a printer, perhaps 15 minutes of time. Finally, the Instagram-esque editing screen, in which you can capture, edit, and publish your image within minutes or even seconds. This reduction of publishing time changes the context of the image, and thus the perception changes as well, because in the social media age an image is no longer a snapshot of the past but rather a moment that is occurring as it was published, creating a stronger connection with the viewer to time and space as opposed viewing the past.
Adami, E, 2016, Special Issue: Social Media and the Visual, University of Leeds, UK
Baker, S, 2016, Constructing the Contemporary Nostalgic Image, School of Art, University of Arizona, USA
Stober, R, 2004, What Media Evolution is: A theoretical Approach to the History of New Media, Otto-Friedrich University, Bamberg, Germany