What if they held a funeral for photography and everyone came, but they couldn't find the corpse?
I think the 'general public' (ie me) are nowhere near as film averse as all this discussion implies. When in my local lab yesterday I asked how they managed to keep process and print cost so low. The nice young lady answered 'volume, we do around 2000 rolls a week'. She did qualify this with '5 years ago boss says we did 6000 a week, but we've been steady at 2000 for while now'. Clearly, much of that business has moved from other retail services that have closed but 2000 a week? Their process/print/frame/film space has about twice the floor area of their digital sales space.
Every time I'm in there, the counter has a queue. All sorts of people, mostly getting prints and/or enlargements and happy to pay. (I guess those $49 inkjets really don't beat the real thing after all!)
As to compositional quality, beauty is (as ever) in the eye of the beholder. Sure, images of teenagers at rock concerts in the rain/cute cats etc don't particularly interest me, but the images I make don't interest them either.
I'm not even convinced there's any shortage of work for 'pro's'. On my daily commute I pass 4 seperate photographers studio's. When out for lunch a week ago the wedding being photographed in the park had a team of 3 photographers complete with assistants! I think there's more pro photographers in my city than plumbers!
I'm inclined to think that many folks out there, after being dissappointed that their $800 digital investment failed to turn them into a pro (and/or discovered they needed another $800 worth of printer) go and get professional help for important images just like we always did.
As to art, my city seems to have constant photo exhibitions. new artists, established masters (cartier-bresson this year!). When recently commuting for work to a distant mining town, they had a couple of photo exhibitions that I went to while waiting for my flights. One of them was specificaly B&W with over 100 images! (in a coal mining town...)
I guess what I'm trying to say is: from my perspective, the whole scene looks at least as healthy as the broader economy. If you go looking for it. Passivley waiting for it to arrive will produce similar results to passively waiting for anything; random flashes of adequate, extremely rare good and no brilliance whatsoever.
How many people who sing and play guitar in friendly groups can compete with The Beetles? Do amateur artists feel they should give up what they do because they will never be a Van Gogh? Then why should people who take pictures and be creative for themselves and family and friends feel they have to compete with Avalon or Adams? Or you?
I belong to a local photo club. There are about 50 members mainly from 40 years old to those in their 70's. People who grew up with film snapshots. Except for the few who worked in photography as a trade, most never got beyond the 4"x6" snapshot of family, friends, vacations and parties. Maybe a 5"x7" now and then. Now in their later years they are learning Photoshop, cameras, editing and printing. OK, many print outside and may display on their HDTV's. But their pictures have "quality". To them! They are experimenting and being creative in their own right something the new photography has opened up to them. Creativity they never could experience before. And more people can do this then ever before. Do you think they don't get a "kick" out of what they produce as much as you do? Do you really think you're more creative then they are? And if you are, so what? Don't you think they have the right to be creative in their own way for themselves, families and friends?
I looked thru (American) Outdoor Photographer and Nature Photography magazines today at B&N and I got to say that there was a very larger percentage of pictures that were just plain crappy. Many looked like they were underexposed. There was a panoramic in Nature Photographer of Canyon De Chelly that looked like it was out of focus. I'm sure that probably 99% of the stuff was digital, and I'm not saying that digital is bad, especially in the right hands, but if this is an indication of what they think good photography is I'm wondering what they turned down?
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Alan, I am talking about the whole idea of what photography is now being so different in 15-20 years that people ought to look at it in ways they might not have previously considered, art or snap shots, it is all changing waaay faster than ever before.
Photos are an assured non-exsistence without people to take them and people to view them. So it is people as individuals who will carry them forward, as snap shots, art, narrative or uploads. But the message is being swept up in the hype of the digital age and the internet age, at least it seems sometimes. I am not saying photography is doomed, I think just the opposite in many cases and with my decision to do a much higher percentage on film, I see the value in that coming full circle real quick.
But this is 15-20 years from now we are talking here, a ton happens in a year in this age, what this will all look like two decades from now is utterly baffling to me. Personally, I am very much looking forward to cranking out fresh new work years to come, but the whole of it all, the term photography, I bet it changes in ways we can not imagine right now in terms of the next 20 years.
"I'm the freak that shoots film. God bless the freaks!" ~ Mainecoonmaniac ~
Photography is evolving, as it has from day one. The difference between photography, and other arts, is that current technology makes it easier and quicker to get acceptable results. There are plenty of people involved with painting and drawing. Most would be described as doodles, or worse, and there is paint by number for the super challenged.
With digital cameras, one can spray and pray till they get something "nice". With film, you usually hit the end of the roll, or your pocketbook first. So more planning, and care, is required. If you for off 200 shots as you walk around a subject, is that photography and art, or just dumb luck?
I don't see digital as the death of photography. I do see it as an impediment to learning the art of photography, if one isn't careful. I do own digital cameras, six or seven of them. I do not see them as a replacement for film.
I am here: http://tapatalk.com/map.php?v5kir2
I agree completely.
Originally Posted by blansky
“The contemplation of things as they are, without error or confusion, without substitution or imposture, is in itself a nobler thing than a whole harvest of invention”
Shoot more, worry less
As not all writing is literature, not all photography is art. Sometimes it's just capturing memories.
And to j-dogg, some of these teenie-boppers, as you describe them, probably don't know what film is, never mind know how to load it. But then, I bet they can program a video recorder/torrent the latest movie better than you.