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Summary: Lasen and Gomez-Cruz’s “Digital Photography and Picture Sharing: Redefining the Public/Private Divide”

Amparo Lasen and Edgar Cruz explore the emergent trends in digital photography and the correlating private/public spheres of new media and digital photography in their article, “Digital Photography and Picture Sharing: Redefining the Public/Private Divide.” Lasen and Cruz  note the “pervasiveness of images producing devices and the sharing of digital images and personal in different platforms on the web” (205) and attempt to tackle the multifaceted question of the nature of the changes in everyday photographical practices and their meanings and uses.

Lasen and Cruz recognize that “photography seems to have changed, from a way to support memories of public and personal events, to a performance of everyday life, for ‘common banality’…(205). They highlight the evolution of photography and its practices as a more personal, voluntarily publicised experiance of everyday life, as opposed to the former, more private and selective photography prior to the development of digital images and the sharing of such images on the Web. They attribute these changes to the control in picture development enabled through digital images and the zero cost associated with online image uploads after the initial device purchase.

Lasen and Cruz explore the practices and uses of the self-portrait in particular, and note the increasing trend to upload such pictures which were “once reserved for artistic photography, ” (206) but which now seem to “be taking part in embodiment processes and in the shaping and knowing of the self, regarding the perception, conception, and relation to our own body” (206). Lasen and Cruz explore the re-structuring of the public/private divide synonymous with digital photography. They note, for example, the increasing willingness for individuals to share personal photos, noting sexual explicit photos as a specific example, with strangers through the Web; ultimately, they argue, these practices transform previous notions of intimacy and privacy.Lasen and Cruz explore the implications of shared experiances and the private becoming public through digital photography and the Web. They also note the changing dynamic of strangers in public spaces, stating that digital photography has re-defined old concepts and perceptions of public space. Lasen and Cruz highlight the new relationships between people, both known and strangers, as a more invasive relationship where “solitary pleasures become collective and shared” (210).

Works Cited

Lasen, Amparo, and Edgar Gomez-Cruz. “Digital Photography and Picture Sharing: Redefining the Public/Private Divide.”  (2009): 205-215. Web. 09 Mar. 2013

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