The 19th August is World Photography Day, and as virtual photographers it is absolutely something that you should get involved with. Recognised all around the globe, the day is about celebrating the power of photography as everything from an essential tool for social influence and documenting history, to a creative art form that is truly accessible to everyone.
- KENA // EMBER LAB -
In fact the creative potential of photography is almost limitless, and the digital art of virtual photography should be seen as a natural extension of it. The light and subjects may be computer generated but the artistry is the same. Both are about capturing unique and compelling images that engage the viewer and convey messages more powerful than words alone ever could. Don't believe me? Just ask Hideo Kojima...
- DEATH STRANDING // KOJIMA PRODUCTIONS -
Having been a real-world photographer for much longer than photo modes have existed, I can also tell you that many of the skills from one medium are directly transferrable to the other. Understanding things like composition, focus, depth of field and lighting are equally important in any case, and the best thing is always the results. In the end, it is the expressive images created by photographers of all types that do the talking, not the devices used to capture them.
- VIRTUAL // REALITY -
Why This Day?
Although the earliest forms of photography, literally meaning "light writing", date back to the early 1700's, it was an important event more than 100 years later that would truly make history.
- LE GRAS HELIOGRAPH // J-N NICÉPHORE, 1827 -
By developing a process known as Heliography, French inventor Joseph Nicéphore Niépce became the first person to permanently preserve the image captured by a camera. Partnering with fellow Frenchman and artist, Louis Daguerre, the pair refined the technique and Daguerre would go on to sell his version of it to the French government.
On the 19th August 1839, in what can only be described as a divine vision of future potential, that government made the Daguerreotype method freely available as a gift to everyone on earth. With that, the first publicly available photographic method was born.
Vive la France, you changed the world!
How To Get Involved
Don't think too hard on this one, there are no rules or limits on what you should or should not do. It is a celebration of the art, so feel free to just take some inspiration from the work of others, drop the odd comment on things that you like, and maybe share some shots of your own (real, virtual or both) that might brighten someone else's day.
- SUNRISE // LUNDY ISLAND -
It's always worth keeping an eye on the various photographic communities too. Flickr is running a repeat of last year's contest, and you often see deals and discounts on camera gear with retailers.
In the virtual realms, I also love the fact that the likes of Santa Monica Studio and Kojima Productions are taking the chance to shine the light on some great photo mode captures, and 505 Games are inviting even more Death Stranding contributions.
Finally, there is the second occurrence of the unofficial "World Virtual Photography Day" happening tomorrow. It is admittedly something that I have mixed opinions about, mostly because I think that virtual photography should be seen as a part of the wider photography art and not trying to isolate itself from it.
I understand the sentiment though, and in the interest of helping to raise awareness of this latest branch of photography, you might want to search the hashtag #WorldVirtualPhotographyDay on Twitter and keep an eye on @DotPone's account.
Above all though, enjoy the day and some images from the best art form on the planet!
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