Take your photography to the next level and beyond...

  • NEWS
  • REVIEWS
  • INSPIRATION
  • COMMUNITY
  • COMPETITIONS

Why not join for free today?

Join for Free

Your total photography experience starts here


PRIZES GALORE! Enter The ePHOTOzine Exclusive Christmas Prize Draw; Over £10,000 Worth of Prizes! Plus A Gift For Everybody On Christmas Day!

Is modern technology devaluing photography?


TonyCoridan 1 137 United Kingdom
7 Mar 2013 12:54PM
Is modern technology devaluing photography?

TonyGrin

Join ePHOTOzine for free and remove these adverts.

ade_mcfade e2
10 15.1k 216 England
7 Mar 2013 12:55PM
of course

did the same with computer programming too.
Pete e2
13 18.7k 96 England
7 Mar 2013 1:11PM
The answer has so many levels. Here's just a few quick thoughts...

Consider a darts player. If he's the top of his game he will regularly be able to hit 180 with three darts. Imagine if he had a machine to throw the darts in to a designated spot (that's kind of what an automatic camera or assisting accessory does) But with photography there are so many more elements.

Take splash drops. In the old days it was a real skill. Now you can get gadgets that measure the precise drip amount and speed, along with another part that triggers the camera at the precise moment. So that aspect has become devalued as a skill...but there's still skill in what fluids you use, where you place the gadget and set up the camera along with how you light it and the background / reception device you use. And that's the skill in this aspect.

Wildlife photographers may have the lenses that get the closer to the subject than they ever used to be able and the exposure / focusing systems can be second to none, but they need the patience to find the location where that animal will turn up and hang around for it to do so and then compose so elements come together in the frame.

Do you think nature programs are devalued due to high speed gear, micro sized trackers etc? - if anything the technology enhances our viewing experience.

In my mind photography has always been about recording what you see, either naturally or in your imagination. Digital has allowed us to record what we imagine with greater ease. In both cases technology has been an enhancement. You could say devaluing comes because more people can do it easily.

Macro is a great example. In the 70s it was the realm of scientists and advanced photographers with specialist equipment. Now even some budget compacts can focus to macro levels.

You just have to work harder to be better than the fast growing and devalued normal.
ikett 4 372 England
7 Mar 2013 1:16PM
Compared to my Canon F1 of the 1970's yes manual everything, focus exposure, on a technical level I think it may, as it reduces the skill levels required for accurately focused and exposed images.

Artistically it could be argued not, the technology makes it easier to capture images that previously would be very difficult if not impossible.

Would I like to go back?

Yes is was much easier to earn good money back in those days, the answer for me must be yes!
tpfkapm 3 151 United Kingdom
7 Mar 2013 1:20PM
nope, its just making poor photography more widely available
7 Mar 2013 1:25PM
I'm not sure the technology devalues photography, but it does make some photographers lazy (or encourages some to cut corners).

Its not so long ago that you really had to learn how to use an SLR and do everything manually, whereas now anyone can pick up a camera, switch it to auto-everything/specific scene mode and the camera does all the work. Thats perfectly fine if you want to use a camera that way of course, but SLRs still have manual settings that some owners never use
JackAllTog e2
5 4.0k 58 United Kingdom
7 Mar 2013 1:29PM
Maybe its devaluing the skill of mainstream photography, but then maybe also more and better shots are being created.

Conversely Is modern technology also enhancing photography for those that know how to get even more out of the new technology.
Newdevonian 2 452 United Kingdom
7 Mar 2013 1:34PM
For those who are disillusioned with modern photography, sell your kit and buy one of these: http://www.ephotozine.com/article/ilford-obscura-pinhole-camera-announced-21522 Me? I'll stick with what I have.

Analogy! Modern car or Model T Ford. Again I know which one I would purchase. Purchase of either wouldn't make me a greater or lesser driver.
brian1208 e2
11 10.6k 12 United Kingdom
7 Mar 2013 1:41PM
In my current exhibition I have yet again come up against the public perception that modern technology IS photography Sad

I was in the gallery recording the exhbition on camera when a couple of locals (who should know better) approached me and said "We know how you got that shot" (A windsurfer coming off his board). When I explained that it was shot from Avon Beach the response was "its not possible to get a shot like that, you created it in the computer". I invited them to read my "Photographers Notes" that detailed how each shot in the exhibition was taken but they didn't want to know, as they "Knew they were all done on the computer".

Pissed me off enough that I was almost rude but bit my tobgue and left them to it

So yes, from my viewpoint, the public perception of modern technology is devaluing photography
User_Removed 10 3.3k 4 United Kingdom
7 Mar 2013 1:46PM
Newer photo technology has always devalued photography, it's not just a phenomenon of today. Back at the start if you were the only guy in town with a three legged box and the skill to operate it your services were a lot more valuable than they would have become by the sixities when domestic cameras became common. Boxes that appeared in shopping centres and railway stations that take passport photos years ago would have devalued someone's skills.
llareggub 4 756 United Kingdom
7 Mar 2013 1:50PM
Photography has no inherent "value" and as such it can not be "devalued".

Has the introduction of ever cheaper and better technology reduced the barrier of entry and demystified photography, absolutely. I personally think that is a good thing.

In terms of fiscal value I am not sure it really has, I am pretty sure that the amount of money spent by "society" on producing and purchasing photographic images has risen although that money is now in the hands of a greater number of photographers. This has probably driven the "price per purchase down" but the market place is significantly larger.
Newdevonian 2 452 United Kingdom
7 Mar 2013 2:05PM

Quote:In my current exhibition I have yet again come up against the public perception that modern technology IS photography Sad

I was in the gallery recording the exhbition on camera when a couple of locals (who should know better) approached me and said "We know how you got that shot" (A windsurfer coming off his board). When I explained that it was shot from Avon Beach the response was "its not possible to get a shot like that, you created it in the computer". I invited them to read my "Photographers Notes" that detailed how each shot in the exhibition was taken but they didn't want to know, as they "Knew they were all done on the computer".

Pissed me off enough that I was almost rude but bit my tobgue and left them to it

So yes, from my viewpoint, the public perception of modern technology is devaluing photography



Always look on the bright side of life (Where have I read that before) The quality of your photography was beyond their limited comprehension. Take it as a compliment!
brian1208 e2
11 10.6k 12 United Kingdom
7 Mar 2013 2:19PM

Quote:Always look on the bright side of life (Where have I read that before) The quality of your photography was beyond their limited comprehension. Take it as a compliment!


I suppose the real compliment was that they thought I was skilled enough to do such work digitally (when my real post-processing skill set is stuck at "Finger Painting with LR4.2 sliders" Grin )
tpfkapm 3 151 United Kingdom
7 Mar 2013 2:42PM
had another thought
nobody really cares for the skill and dedication bit really. they may acknowledge dedication but most are just interested in the final image and not really how you got it.

the argument that "I could do that " is always levelled at "artists" and craftsmen but in reality good ones will always shine through and the image, rather than the technique and journey of getting to the final image, is the most important thing.

same with music really... three rooms in the house with three doodlers have all the set up to create the next masterpiece and platinum selling album but the reality is we haven't
tpfkapm 3 151 United Kingdom
7 Mar 2013 2:45PM
just check this out from time to time

if you are on this site then out of pride, sell up
http://youarenotaphotographer.com

Sign In

You must be a member to leave a comment.

ePHOTOzine, the web's friendliest photography community.

Join For Free

Upload photos, chat with photographers, win prizes and much more.