To see the diversity of photography in the digital age the 2011 Kodak Salon at the Centre for Contemporary Photography (CCP) is a good place to start as this open-entry exhibition has hundreds.
And contemporary photography, or rather photo-media, is a varied practice for the photo is no longer confined to a format or support, it can be printed on t-shirts, canvas, metal and paper or shown on a video screen. We could get very technical and discuss the variety of printing techniques currently available for photographs. The subjects of the photographs range from the subjects from the sublime to the profane, from the documentary to digitally manipulated, nature, glamour, landscape… This is not simply an example of the sheer variety of things that people take photographs but it is influenced by the many prizes on offer, including prizes for documentary, landscape, environmental theme, portrait, animal image, conceptual photography and many others. With so many photographs the exhibition is hung salon style – from almost the floor to ceiling where the photograph would fit, filling the main gallery at the CCP. This hanging did not impede the exhibition people are used to focusing and isolating images in their mind, but rather gave it a feeling of vitality and variety.
Just around the corner from the CCP at the Colour Factory Gallery more photography was on exhibition. The gallery is located at the Colour Factory, a business producing various types of prints, and the gallery, unsurprisingly, specializes in photo-based art. I thought that I might be wasting my time because it looked so much like a factory and all the advertising for “colour reproductions” made me wonder what I was going to look at. Inside it there was a small white walled gallery adjacent to the factories office space with an exhibition by Christopher Tovo “Italia Mia”. Tovo’s atmospheric photographs of Italy are not surprising in their subjects but they do capture classic Italian images.