Yes of course you can't give a blanket damnation of digital images being uncreative, because many are excellent, and I enjoy looking at a well crafted photo from wherever it originated. The article was interesting and I can't comment on it's accuracy, but DI has relegated camera stores and photofinishers to the history books, and left film manufactures limping but still with good vital signs.
Interestingly,there is a local radio show about photography, where the host discusses various techniques etc, and while she has a lot of good ideas, she did say that film photography was well and truly dead and buried. Once that would have irked me, but now I just load up another film!
Were it not for the internet, how many of us would actually write a single word beyond whatever our work required during any given day? I wonder how much better our writing has become by contributing to or originating threads here and elsewhere on line? I've no way to tabulate the difference, but the ubiquity of cell phone and digicam photos may actually have enriched the visual literacy of more people than we may realize. Doesn't that raise the bar for 'serious' photographers to offer a higher quality of photograph than would be required otherwise? I am certain that the "wow" factor is even greater for those throngs who have made endless pet and sunset photos, but recognize that they haven't come close to the visual excitement that really well made images generate. This article is a major whine that just has no traction for me. Suck it up, buttercup, and raise the bar!!
^Some great comments here in dissent of the author, I too find the author trying to create one of those art-technology-get-off-my-lawn-David-v-Goliath-binary-polarizing-debates....bla bla bla's.....
Really, I'd love to show this yahoo my wife's digi created photo books she's made using *dare I say it* print on demand....
What a joke, the author is just trying to make folks argue! Do what ya want to keep happy folks, life's too short for this stuff. Heck Instagram is bad but many damn the Lomo crowd too. Joke. The worlds not black and white, it, err, has great tonality :)
This theory that the author intends only to disparage digital as a sort of sentimental, rabble-rousing tactic is gaining momentum.
This is not what I took from the article.
Eastman inserted demand for his product way back when, by creating roll film cameras attainable by everyone. Everyone had the means by which to express him/herself photographically using the material Eastman allowed them (roll film, bought from him, processed by him).
In this way, Eastman exploited his consumers for profit.
Folks in Silicone Valley today created Instagram in its various incarnations and with its various appendages.
With Instagram everyone has the means by which to express him/herself photographically using the material provided by Instagram.
Instagram is free, but all of its users' personal habits and logistical information are made available to swarms of marketing companies. In this way, consumers are again being exploited for profit in ways that are much more invasive than what Eastman did.
This is what I took away from the article.
^Sorry this author is everything that is wrong with media-talking-heads. He has real tangible info in his article (ie be careful with what meta data you share) but then sounds like a polarizing talking head that fill cable tv "news" shows. Just because the "undercurrent-theme" of the article is factual & real doesn't presume he can be so polarizing all the while....
Modern debate has turned this way. I will have no part looking at the world so binary (says the computer programmer:) )
I wonder how many times over the last couple of hundred years this same general topic has been repeated? The history of photography has been one of creative destruction with more and more people having access to the tools. And throughout that history people on one side are figuring out ways to exploit the consumer and make money, while on the backside people are losing their ability to make money because the consumer has moved on. And life moves on and these cycles continue to repeat and people continue to write about them. Even digital is now getting caught up in this creative destruction. It may be happening quicker now, but it is still happening.
And yet true artists, the ones with vision and an ability to express that vision, don't seem to come along any more frequently. You would think that handing everyone the tools in a more democratic manner would result in more artists, but I am not sure it happens that way.
Fact of the matter is that I see so much crappy photography out there it isn't even funny. It's a dime a dozen to make and people just simply refuse to self edit. The malaise is obvious and visible.
Before these malaises were confined to family albums and the real artists were in the galleries and papers, now that the wheat and chaff are in the same pool (ie the Internet)....food for thought (wait where's my camera, I gotta post a pic of this food online ASAP)....