The Meaning of Photography

Following on from my previous blog post regarding the article about the photo of the plane in the forest, let's now talk about what the article actually says..


According to Google Translate, the article translates to:


"Fabulous, Nice Picture is Forgery

An abandoned airplane in the middle of a Forest: It's a picture currently on Instagram causing a stir. But is this photo really real? When his followers asked on Instagram where exactly the plane stood, the photographer responded with "The plane is in Bali, but the forest is not." Indeed, the aircraft with registration PK-RII has been parked in Bali since 2008 and is a tourist attraction while the forest, on the other hand, is only there thanks to Photoshop."


Is this really forgery, even though I never stated that this is actually real? This is where I want to talk about what photography means to me...


To me, photography is an art form.


It is a way for me to convey my creativity and push the limits of what is real and unreal and show what is possible to the world. I want to be able to inspire people to see the world differently and come up with new concepts that has never been seen before.


My photography root stemmed from my time in architecture school, when we were challenged to think outside the box. In the process of coming up with our designs, we created images and drawings that showed what these ideas/buildings could look like in real life and in real locations in the most convincing ways possible. Architecture school was also where I taught myself the ins-and-outs of Photoshop and that is why a lot of the stuff you see on my Instagram feed is quite heavily post-processed and enhanced to the way I want it to be.


To you, photography could mean something completely different because you have your own unique stories of why and how you picked up a camera in the first place. What I am getting at is that no matter what photography means to each of us, we all need to respect each other's works and not put other people down because we have differing views about this very subjective topic.


Amongst the mostly positive comments that I receive about my work (I really appreciate you all who are always so encouraging and supportive), I do sometimes get the odd comment where someone would say "this is too much Photoshop!" or "this is fake!" or "stop lying to the world!". I really don't see this as lying or fake, but I see it as a form of art and art can be anything the artist wants it to be.


If I am able to get people to stop scrolling on their Instagram feeds to question/think about the photo that I have just posted, I think I have done my job as a photographer.


A lot of people also say that I cannot call myself a photographer and that I should instead call myself a digital artist. I think the difference between me and the traditional digital artist is that 95% of the time, the pieces that I combine together were all shot by me. Going out, exploring new places and taking photos is something that I love to do and is a huge part of my creative process.


Let's take this 'plane in the forest' shot for example.


I took the photo of the abandoned airplane in Bali last year and right when I was taking these photos, I thought to myself "this would look amazing hidden within a forest, surrounded by trees'. This was the first spark of inspiration that came into my head. Fast forward 6 months later when I was droning over Waahila State Park in Honolulu, Hawaii during my Honeymoon and taking photos of this incredible forest, the same idea came again into my head and that is when I realised I would one day create an edit like this.



I mean the photo of the plane itself is great, and the photo of the forest itself is also great, but when you combine the two images into one edit that no one has seen before, that is what I call photography (and also art)...


In summary, everyone should respect other people's views on what photography is, and you should never criticise other people for having a completely different view because we all come from different backgrounds and have different beliefs.


What does photography mean to you? Let me know in the comments below.

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© 2018 by Demas Rusli