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  1. #41
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by keithwms View Post
    I don't think the art of photography is in decline or the end is near or any of that. Not for an instant.

    Those who remain committed to analogue / traditional processes will (I keep saying over and over!) be delighted to find that their work is valued more as time goes by. I see this very clearly.

    Those who get involved with digital and hybrid processes will see more interesting and individual capabilities and a steady improvement in standards; we just have to remember that digital photography is still in its youth, relatively speaking, and still has quite a long way to go.

    On both sides -analogue and digital- there are those people who bitch and moan and think things have gone to hell and the art is finished. Whatever. That's just a completely useless and de-motivating point of view. What these people want remains an enduring mystery. A warm bottle and a blankie? Whatever. Adapt or perish.
    I raised the question with David Little, curator of photography at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, and he and I agree with you Keith. The art will always float to the top, and it is not extinct, nor runs the risk of it.

    My own opinion is that what has truly changed in photography isn't fundamentally the switch from one technology of making photographs to another, what has truly changed is VOLUME. There is so much of it today, that it takes some real determination to wade through all of the snapshots to get to the cream.
    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

    "Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman

    "...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh

  2. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by j-dogg View Post
    What disgusts me as a working professional are all the teenie-boppers with $500 DSLR's willing to work for free. Clients driven by our less-than-wonderful economy migrate to them and then get disappointed when they receive a crappy product, putting guys like me out of business. My location doesn't exactly help me either which is why I'm moving soon.

    I'm not the best out there, but I'm decent, the kids I see getting into this have zero composition and are all "angles and dangles, bokeh, 300 shots of cats and flowers everything I shoot is pretty" None of them even know how to load a roll of film.
    +1, Anybody with enough money can buy high end camera that is full of electronic technology that without any knowledge, training or study by the owner can produce sharp, correctly exposed, and colourful images, this doesn't make them photographers it makes them camera owners, any more than if they bought a Stradivarius violin would make them a violinist, but it doesn't prevent them from seeing it as an opportunity to make easy with the inevitable consequences of getting themselves involved in all sorts of trouble with their clients including law suits, and in the eyes of the general public giving professional photography a bad name.

    P.S. I have no axe to grind, I have never been or wanted to be a pro.
    Last edited by benjiboy; 03-07-2012 at 09:07 AM. Click to view previous post history.
    Ben

  3. #43

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    Digital has made photography available for even more people, why is that bad? Are we afraid that our club is not so cool anymore?

    When it comes to music I had the impression that more bands play live because they make less money on selling CDs due to downlading.

  4. #44

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    It's not all bad that more people take photos because of digital, but it is not all hunky dory either.

    Personally, I see making a good living off of what I do in 20 years, photography. But I am also getting ready for the biggest changes of all to come in the next 5-15 years. I have a feeling that between laws on the rise that prohibit photography with it's now even more invasive nature and the technology it self, you won't even begin to fathom those changes for awhile.

    But they are coming and it is not all good. I know there will be many a happy photographer or photo enthusiast decades from now, but what it will look like is not what you might think...that is why I posted this, I think people on here are so distracted by the film versus digital debate that they are kind of blind to the bigger picture issues, like the digital versus people debate, photography as a language more than craft debate and how that is going to affect us all.

    Yes, through the people who look at it and the people who make it, photography will be fine. But it is going to all change in ways that might make you wish for a time machine, it's part of a bigger picture problem of too much digital everything, much too fast. Because I shoot not just for a passion or a job, but a life, I look at these much bigger picture trends and what they might do.

    Technology is it's own best hype machine, it's called the association game. "He says it is the hottest thing out, so it must be, golly gee, I better try it, I don't want to be left behind." Photography has been the poster child of that for at least 10 years in current form and it is only going to get worse. The good news is that when you talk to people off of the net, all is OK in the world, including photography, the hype is just that, hype.

    But this *is* going to change photography and what is considered a photograph in even more profound ways than we can imagine...

    Think about it man, 20 years from now?

    Quote Originally Posted by komla View Post
    Digital has made photography available for even more people, why is that bad? Are we afraid that our club is not so cool anymore?

    When it comes to music I had the impression that more bands play live because they make less money on selling CDs due to downlading.

  5. #45
    CGW
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    Quote Originally Posted by PKM-25 View Post
    It's not all bad that more people take photos because of digital, but it is not all hunky dory either.

    Personally, I see making a good living off of what I do in 20 years, photography. But I am also getting ready for the biggest changes of all to come in the next 5-15 years. I have a feeling that between laws on the rise that prohibit photography with it's now even more invasive nature and the technology it self, you won't even begin to fathom those changes for awhile.

    But they are coming and it is not all good. I know there will be many a happy photographer or photo enthusiast decades from now, but what it will look like is not what you might think...that is why I posted this, I think people on here are so distracted by the film versus digital debate that they are kind of blind to the bigger picture issues, like the digital versus people debate, photography as a language more than craft debate and how that is going to affect us all.

    Yes, through the people who look at it and the people who make it, photography will be fine. But it is going to all change in ways that might make you wish for a time machine, it's part of a bigger picture problem of too much digital everything, much too fast. Because I shoot not just for a passion or a job, but a life, I look at these much bigger picture trends and what they might do.

    Technology is it's own best hype machine, it's called the association game. "He says it is the hottest thing out, so it must be, golly gee, I better try it, I don't want to be left behind." Photography has been the poster child of that for at least 10 years in current form and it is only going to get worse. The good news is that when you talk to people off of the net, all is OK in the world, including photography, the hype is just that, hype.

    But this *is* going to change photography and what is considered a photograph in even more profound ways than we can imagine...

    Think about it man, 20 years from now?
    Time to pass the bong...

  6. #46
    X. Phot.
    Chicken Little is hurrying
    Umbrella 'neath her wing.
    She thinks the sky is falling fast
    So goes to tell the King.
    But, after she has spread the news
    And all is told and said
    The good old King just laughs at her
    And sends her home instead.


    BTW, who is this Utah Bill?

  7. #47

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    OK, I get it, put Chicken Little in the bong and smoke it I guess. It's food for thought not served by your mother, read, you don't have to eat it.

  8. #48

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    I didn't read the whole thread, so I apologize for my laziness and if my point has been stated. I get the feeling this conversation has happened before in the history of photography. When Kodak brought out the Brownie and other cheap cameras followed and almost everyone had access to a camera, so much so that there were probably billions of actual negatives that existed at one point. Or when the cheap SLR's or point and shoots were developed. I think the thing that has changed is that everyone now can post all of their photos to millions of people, instead of the handful of people dragged to see the latest vacation slides from 'Tommy and Edna's big car trip out west' . I think this instant access to everything has not only affected photography it has affected all parts of society.

  9. #49

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    Quote Originally Posted by Barry S View Post
    Photography is going through its second great social transition. The first was the development of hand cameras and the first Kodak--you push the button and we do the rest. The technical expertise required to practice photography was significantly lowered and photography became accessible to nearly everyone. Pictorialism was a reaction to the mass production of photography and and an attempt to emphasize craftsmanship and establish photography as a fine art.

    The issue today isn't digital itself, but the reduction of the required technical expertise for the practice of photography to essentially zero. Digital enabled the easy and instantaneous production of photography along with the means to easily alter the image. In digital, everything is infinitely malleable. Digital also enabled the rise of social media to create a visible stream for this mass production of images. It's human nature to attract attention--hence the rise of bad HDR and other forms of grotesque manipulation needed to rise above the noise of the image stream. The starving off of arts education and the suppression of the value of the arts in our culture guarantees the domination of a kitsch aesthetic.

    Teaching and demonstrating wet plate collodion, I emphasize that photographers should freely draw on every photographic process just as other artists choose from a rich and diverse set of processes. The good news is that the same forces that created the image stream are driving many serious photographers back into what we foolishly term "historical processes".
    The thing is that now, one by one, manufacturer are stopping making film. First there was polaroid stopping making instant film, then kodak stopping making Kodachrome and now Ektachrome film, What next ? Color and Black and white film ? At least a musician can still chose to play with an analog instrument. Soon, a photographer will not have any choice but to use digital in order to pursue photography. That time may be coming sooner than later and I dread it.

  10. #50

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    Quote Originally Posted by WMRphoto View Post
    I think this instant access to everything has not only affected photography it has affected all parts of society.
    This is really it in a nutshell.

    I don't live in fear of losing photography day in day out, hardly. But I think that with recent hotbed threads like Kodak C-11 and the whole 101010 thing in general, it might be a good time to look even deeper into bigger picture happenings to gain perspective in what might be afoot for photography itself in the coming years.

    It's not a call to arms, it's a call to take a closer look.
    Last edited by PKM-25; 03-07-2012 at 03:45 PM. Click to view previous post history.

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