Joseph Labate
Digital technology rapidly changed how we make and how we think about photographs. It is arguable that since photography’s birth over a century and a half ago, nothing has had such a profound effect on the medium as this new digital technology. How does this affect the meaning and our understanding of photographs? What is changed? What remains the same? What is lost? What is gained?

I learned and practiced photography in the era before the introduction of photographic digital technology. I exposed film in a camera and then proceeded to my darkroom to develop the film and make prints. I studied the art of photography at university programs learning theory and critical thinking based on the medium as we then understood it. I immersed myself in that world and as an artist, was challenged to explore its potential.

Then along came PhotoShop. In the late 1990's, after long and serious deliberation, I closed down my darkroom and sold my darkroom equipment. I replaced the darkroom with a computer, software, inkjet printer, and various other new digital wonders and set off to explore their impact on my practice of photography. I am fortunate to have a history with chemical darkroom photography and now have available to me this new digital technology. I have a foot in both worlds.

I am most interested in that converging space between the traditional definition of photography and the imagery of the newly emerging digital arts. I am not trying to replicate traditional photography with the now available digital tools but yet am trying to maintain some connection to it. My work draws on both the history and practice of traditional photography and the language of the new technologies.