Iphoneography: When is a photograph no longer a photograph?

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I was talking to a friend of mine yesterday and showing him some of my iPhone images. Our discussion turned to whether or not images that are manipulated are still photographs and at what point they stop being photographs and become works of art. Or is there any difference as a photograph is essentially a work of art.

Here are some examples of original images and the resulting “photograph” after some manipulation with iPhone apps.

This a straight out  of the iPhone shot of the water at Kilcona and the image after some manipulation. I think you will agree that the resulting image is still a photograph.

This is the original of the sunset at Kilcona, followed by 2 images that have been manipulated. Is the final images still a photograph or does it become a work of art that is something other than a photograph?

And finally, my most extreme example of changing the original image. The first image was taken with an app called Slow Shutter and is an image of some clouds and trees. I then used Tiny Planet in Photoforge2 to make the circle, followed by making  some adjusting of the colour etc to create the image you see.   Is it still a photograph?

These are 3 examples of various amounts of manipulation. The first is true to the original image with some changes in brightness, contrast and colour. The second shows increasingly more alternations and the final image is not like the original at all.

At what point does an image stop being a photograph? Or is it always a photograph if the original was taken with a camera?

I’m not sure of the answer and wonder what you think. I’m leaning towards the last one no longer being a photograph but being a work of art. But then what is the media? It is still from an original photograph.

Let me know what your  thoughts are on this.

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One thought on “Iphoneography: When is a photograph no longer a photograph?

  1. I believe that they are both photographs AND works of art, regardless of the degree of manipulation… A painting never ceases to be a painting & becomes a work of art as the painting progresses. It is always a work of art even at it’s conception.

    I believe that photography is the same way, only the mediums differ.

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