No matter where you stand on the digital vs. film debate, technological and creative advances in the realm of digital photography within the last decade have secured its place as both a popular and worthy medium. Just as photography itself expanded what types of works were critically accepted as “high” art in the 19th century, digital photography is currently challenging established notions of what constitutes fine art photography. Technological breakthroughs in digital slr photography (especially in the area of light sensors) as well as post-processing software have allowed digital enthusiasts to recreate analog effects (if they choose) or produce cutting-edge images wholly unique to a digital format. At Saatchi Art, we celebrate creativity and innovation of all forms, and are proud to offer the work of some of the most talented artists working in digital photography today. We invite you to browse through our vast, global selection of digital photography for sale now!
The first digital camera was developed from a technical experiment conducted by Steven Sasson, an engineer at Eastman Kodak. Sasson created a device that used digital image sensors chips and recorded black and white images to a cassette. Digital photography did not become a widely used format until the 1980s and 1990s, after the invention of a portable commercial digital camera that connected directly to a computer to download images. DSLRs, a common tool for contemporary photographers, also went on the market in the 1990s. These digital single-lens reflex cameras allowed photographers to capture higher quality images through various technological refinements. Advances in technology today are still contributing to the abilities and potential of this medium.
Contemporary artists who work in digital slr photography favor the medium’s high-speeds and features that allow greater control over the composition. Photographers can select the lens and shutter speed, allowing them to capture snapshots of objects from a wider point of view or in high-speed motion. They can also take long exposure shots to blur moving images together. Other technological advancements in the DSLR realm include the ability to take infrared, panoramic, and macro photographs, the last of which allows crisp detail in even the tiniest of subjects. Digital photography enables artists to choose between color, black and white, and mixes of the two. Contemporary photographers often utilize Photoshop and editing software to add to their compositions. These programs are popular for creating surrealist images, for example, with floating objects a la Rene Magritte.
Steve McCurry, most famous for his film image “Afghan Girl” (1985), is now known for working with digital platforms to take photographs in locales around the world. Portrait photographer Annie Leibovitz is recognized for her work with Rolling Stone magazine and photographing celebrities including Angelina Jolie and Meryl Streep. Other well-known people who make art with this digital approach to traditional photography include Elliott Erwitt, Alex Webb, David Black, Bill Atkinson, Lorne resnick, Peter Dazeley, Rob Davies, Petter Hegre, and Jim Hancock.