Quote Originally Posted by eddie View Post
Digital just continues the democratization of photography which Kodak began. There are 250 million photos uploaded to Facebook every day.... Vestal was right. The technological advances have lowered the bar.
How is some random person making a digital snapshot any different than some random person making a Brownie snapshot? There isn't the slightest difference, as I noted in my first post. It's easier and faster for people to make snapshots now than it was 100 years ago, with instant gratification, but so what? None of that affects the spirits of a Paul Strand circa 1920, or a Roger Ballen circa 2013. They are going to use photography to do their thing regardless of how many photos are uploaded to Facebook every second. Do you think Salgado really gives a crap? Why would he? Why should you? Why should David Vestal?

I'm in the trenches here. I feed my family with my photography, so I'm sure I feel the digital crunch far more acutely than most. There are a million "moms with cameras" shooting portraits for a $25 session fee. And everyone has 8MP right on their iPhone. It's brutal. But people still come and pay me to do it. Just like 100 years ago, and probably just like 100 years from now.

Quote Originally Posted by eddie View Post
There are now more "professional photographers" than there were 20 years ago, but the percentage of quality ones has gone way down.
Digital has spawned an incredible amount of creative photographers. The feedback loop is just tremendously powerful, the learning curve so much faster. You may perceive a lower percentage of quality simply because every dingle with a digital now has a website to show their work, for what it is or isn't worth.

That being said I think most of what's happening in the consumer market (tacky filters on every image, flare) as well as the fine art market (all the Alec Soth clones) will look horribly dated in ten years. I think the whole "pump and dump" 40x60 micro-editions from the photographer du jour selling for $40,000 each is going to pop. People are going to come back down to earth and say "Is this image really in the same league as Brett Weston? Is this really worth what I could spend on a vintage Strand?"