The Digital Revolution

Digital photography, so recent, already has a history as readily forgotten as its development was meteoric. Is it actually justifiable to talk about a digital revolution?

In order to produce a picture digitally, you have to be able to replace the photochemical imprint left by the light in the photographic emulsion by an electrical signal of proportionate intensity, which can be coded in numbers. After this change, the picture receives a digital code like any other kind of information with which it is going to be associated, mixed or even transformed.

In the computer, many different kinds of information can be handled simultaneously. The wish to include the picture with them arose quite naturally, whence the need to be able to not only digitize pictures, but especially to capture and digitally record “the imprint of the flow of light” to use the terminology of Nicéphore Niépce.

However, the most profound upheavals due to the arrival of digital photography concerned the diffusion of pictures and their remote consultation. The photographer no longer has exclusive control over his pictures, because he shares them with the whole world, perhaps not always willingly


Photographie de Philippe Pache.