Where now, O Photography?
Kia Ora tatou:
The holidays are a great time to take a break, sit back and reassess all sorts of things.
Photography is no exception. There is no question that digital has matured as a technology. Just look at what is now available in camera stores (and what isn’t). I remember about 12 years ago being invited to a Kodak trade show where we were introduced to a cutting-edge programme called Aldus PhotoStyler and its Mac rival, photoShop 1, as well as the latest 1+MP professional camera (it cost >$NZ 25 000!). They confidently assured us that digital would have completely replaced film by 1995!
Interestingly enough, the cameras we now use are developmental extensions of film-based technologies. We are part of a long tradition that stretches back into the 19th century. As such we are participants in a dance whose steps were formulated by our forbears. Any movements we make are in in one way or another dictated by the photographers who came before us. A kind of danse traditionelle, if you will. Developing a new approach is not easy (assuming we want to do so).
For those of you who wish to view your photographic direction in the rear-view mirror of photographic tradition, may I suggest this essay by Irwin Puts, a long-time Leica commentator and authority. Some of his thoughts are provocative but clearly argued. Leica fans will not enjoy aspects of it!
As a taste:
……..Digitalization of photography means that the main expansion will occur in the consumer electronics domain where the prosumers and the instant snap-shooters with the mobile cam/phone will dominate. The true amateur photographer may become extinct unless we can focus on photographic quality as the result of a craft that is worth pursuing….