Is the photography industry analogous to the music industry?

Discussion in 'Photographers' started by EricO, Jul 6, 2011.

  1. EricO

    EricO Member

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    1. It used to be that musicians could play instruments and some could even read music
    2. Today’s musicians (and their music) lack talent, creativity, originality, and quality
    3. There are many times more people making “music” these days with all of the computer software that’s out there
    4. If you strip away music videos, dancers and the sampling of other musician’s music most musicians are exposed as talentless
    5. The fans of this mediocre art form are oblivious to the lack of quality in the music
    6. It’s becoming harder to earn money because of all of the techno advances that allow a mediocre artist to make music without having real skills
    7. The marketing of the music is making it harder for the artist to earn money

    I’m still listening to and preferring music from the 80’s and still using cameras from the 80’s and 90’s.

    Would you care to list the analogies to photography to these bullets?
     
  2. Neanderman

    Neanderman Member

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    The digital revolution has had an impact on almost every art form -- music, photography, video/film and even writing. It used to take a third-party to make your work available to the general public; now all it takes is a computer and an Internet connection.

    And, like every other revolution, it has been a mixed blessing.
     
  3. BrianL

    BrianL Member

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    Having been in the stereo business and having it as a hobby along with photography, the short answer imho is absolutely yes. As for the service said, i.e. the making of music and the making of an image, also the answer is yes. Sadly, for me anyway, it has meant a degradation of quality going from nalog to digital in both industries. Though in somne ways it has broadened the user market base.
     
  4. jp498

    jp498 Member

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    EricO, I think you have to be careful painting all musicians with a broad brush as though they were all part of the "industry"

    I know a bunch of honest musicians that read music, play multiple instruments, play well, and like what they do. They are not famous or rich or faces of the "industry".

    point 1 is true, but could still be true, but it's quite an assumption.

    Point 2 is dead wrong. Toss out your rolling stone magazine and go to some nearby smaller concerts, go online, etc..

    point 4, just watch youtube for good homegrown no frills talent. Lots of it, just as long as you avoid the chart topping names.

    point 5. Is a bit of a stretch. I like some quality music and I also like some mediocre stuff because it's different and original rather than polished. I kinda like live albums too since they are more energetic and less perfectly polished that something smoothed over till it's bland in a studio.

    point 6&7, I think it's never been easier for a musician to self promote and put out music, equally for the talented and less talented.

    I guess if the list were better I could make some analogies, but #5 is an easy crossover.
     
  5. brucemuir

    brucemuir Member

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    Haha, what good music that was produced in the 80's are you listening to?
    j/k you need to realize art is quite subjective.
     
  6. CGW

    CGW Member

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    I'd just head back under the cosy rock and resume pretending it's the 80s. Analogies? I don't really see any, sorry.
     
  7. vpwphoto

    vpwphoto Member

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    I heard today on NPR that FedEx and UPS might not need pilots to fly cargo planes before 2021.
     
  8. Klainmeister

    Klainmeister Member

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    Man, I was really hoping for another digi-bashing thread. I was getting bored with the other 500.
     
  9. CGW

    CGW Member

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    Trolls have recently cornered all the prime real estate under the world's bridges, too.
     
  10. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Although I began making images some time before by the early 1970's music and photography have been inter-twined although the music side of my photography is quite separate from the rest of my work.

    Those UK members who remember Splodginess Abounds will be glad to hear I refused to photograph then ( at No 1 at the time with "Two Pints of Lager and a packet of crisps) :D

    Perhaps photography is like music, talentless wonders do get recognition, but not by the discerning.

    One of the best LP's I have is one mainly only known to musicians," If I Could Only Remember My Name" David Crosby, and when I think back seeing musicians like Tim Hardin knocks spots off almost all the better known musicians I've seen before & since.

    Ian
     
  11. mr.datsun

    mr.datsun Member

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    1. A controversial statement to start with. This seems to be the way your list will go on. Provocative opinions presented as fact. Still, to start, you seem to be implying that so-called photographers who make photographs can't use their cameras.

    But clearly on the evidence that these musicians who can't play or read do make music (whether you like it or not) and that today's photographers do produce so-called photographs both would clearly be false statements.

    2. That's a lot to put into one statement. It might be true today but any truer than it was yesterday? But let's not talk about talent or creativity as no one knows what they are (see below). Originality – the idea of originality has been debunked long ago. Quality - you really cannot say that quality does not exist.

    Photography and music. At the moment the only thing I'd agree with that you imply in your post is that artforms go around in circles. Endless recycling of the past. Now, The Past has always been plundered by the artists of The Present and that is the way it will always be but what I fail to see is new modes of thinking about music and photography, whatever they use as a starting point. Where I do see it is in very few individuals outside of the mainstream. I also think that it tends to be coming from those who not only embrace new technology but find new ways of thinking with the technology. It is the thinkers that produce the new art of tomorrow.

    3. So what. And what's a camera? Read Vilem Flusser.

    4. What is it and where does talent lie? With your reference to sampling, the late 20th Century critique of the myth of originality seems to have passed you by. At the simplest level of argument, sampling just makes the artistic strategy of copying and stealing more evident than it was 100 years ago. Creative theft. Picasso liked it ,and if done with the right amount of bare-faced insolence, so do I.

    And how does this relate to photography? I don't see much evidence in the way of any sampling equivalent as technological directive in photography. More's the pity as photography is on the whole so stuck in a 20th Century rut.

    5. Maybe they are looking at it from different point of view to you. Or are you actually saying that maybe they're stupid or insensitive and that you're not? And which mediocre art form are you referring to?

    6. It's hard to make money because everyone is an artist/musician producing material for consumption. Like most everywhere else there are so many people being photographers that we dont need them any more. The photo is not art and the market itself is devalued.

    7. Not sure what you are getting at here. Market saturation? Yes, as with all the stuff poured out by the (imo, awful) creative industries. So therefore – go underground. Find new ways to make a living from what you do . Move away from the established and industry-controlled revenue mechanisms.

    In general, most of the new and creative photo art of tomorrow will be made digitally. The old photo art of yesterday will still be made today using old film cameras. This is the youthful disease of retro-mania ( to borrow Simon Reynolds' term).

    The 80's? Apart from Japanese noise, that was the worst decade for music ever. Get with it! And get a proper digital camera, whilst you're at it.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 6, 2011
  12. Ian David

    Ian David Subscriber

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    The main point of similarity between music and photography is that, in both spheres, it is now so easy to get your creations out into the world that I now have to wade through a lot of junk to find the really excellent stuff.

    I suspect there is more good music and photography happening now than ever before. It just so happens that we are also exposed to a lot more rubbish than ever before.

    Ian
     
  13. pbromaghin

    pbromaghin Subscriber

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    So it sounds like the OP thinks all the music today is made by no-talent clones of Britney Spears. I've been listening to a radio station here in Denver that plays tons of really great stuff including a lot of remarkable local bands. I'm in my mid-50s and I don't even know what they call this kind of music, but I wouldn't say Linkin Park, Rise Against, Coldplay, Incubus and Foofighters don't know what they're doing.
     
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  15. Klainmeister

    Klainmeister Member

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    I look at mainstream music the same way I look at stock photography.
     
  16. Aristophanes

    Aristophanes Member

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    And a karaoke machine :D
     
  17. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    As a musician that actually plays an instrument, I have had all the same thoughts that you have posted. I agree with the analogy.

    I also sum it up by dividing things up into computer or virtual instrument vs 'real' vibrating instrument that one spends years learning how to play. With images, I make the distinction between computer graphics and 'real' light rays from a lens and shadows from silver particles.
     
  18. M.A.Longmore

    M.A.Longmore Subscriber

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    Thanks for reminding me, Ian.
    I just checked my phone to see if " Two Pints " was still on my playlist.
    And cranked it up, that was my theme song on Friday nights back in 1980 !

    Ron
    .
     
  19. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

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    Some of us still can! However, I don't think you need to be able to read music to be a great musician.


    Steve.
     
  20. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

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    Indeed. For me the 80s was one of the worst decades for music.


    Steve.
     
  21. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    The '80's, huh?
     
  22. Travis Nunn

    Travis Nunn Member

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    Best laugh I've had in a long time...

    I'm still laughing
     
  23. tomalophicon

    tomalophicon Member

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    Actually, the greatest band to ever come out of America did so in the 1980s.
    Living Colour.
     
  24. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    It's important to note that the title, at least, of this thread refers to the music and photography industries.

    I don't think that the quality of music and musicians has any more than a tangential relationship to the quality of the music industry.
     
  25. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Exactly...
     
  26. jerry lebens

    jerry lebens Member

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    Personally, I blame the renaissance...