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Is modern technology devaluing photography?

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TonyCoridan
7 Mar 2013 - 12:54 PM

Is modern technology devaluing photography?

TonyGrin

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7 Mar 2013 - 12:54 PM

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ade_mcfade
ade_mcfade  1014554 forum posts England216 Constructive Critique Points
7 Mar 2013 - 12:55 PM

of course

did the same with computer programming too.

Pete
Pete Site Moderator 1218416 forum postsPete vcard ePz Advertiser England96 Constructive Critique Points
7 Mar 2013 - 1:11 PM

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
ikett e2 Member 3317 forum postsikett vcard England
7 Mar 2013 - 1:16 PM

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
tpfkapm  3129 forum posts United Kingdom
7 Mar 2013 - 1:20 PM

nope, its just making poor photography more widely available

paulcookphotography

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
JackAllTog e2 Member 53469 forum postsJackAllTog vcard United Kingdom58 Constructive Critique Points
7 Mar 2013 - 1:29 PM

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
7 Mar 2013 - 1:34 PM

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
brian1208 e2 Member 109963 forum postsbrian1208 vcard United Kingdom12 Constructive Critique Points
7 Mar 2013 - 1:41 PM

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
7 Mar 2013 - 1:46 PM

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
llareggub  3638 forum posts United Kingdom
7 Mar 2013 - 1:50 PM

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
7 Mar 2013 - 2:05 PM


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!

Last Modified By Newdevonian at 7 Mar 2013 - 2:06 PM
brian1208
brian1208 e2 Member 109963 forum postsbrian1208 vcard United Kingdom12 Constructive Critique Points
7 Mar 2013 - 2:19 PM


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 )

Last Modified By brian1208 at 7 Mar 2013 - 2:20 PM
tpfkapm
tpfkapm  3129 forum posts United Kingdom
7 Mar 2013 - 2:42 PM

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

Last Modified By tpfkapm at 7 Mar 2013 - 2:43 PM
tpfkapm
tpfkapm  3129 forum posts United Kingdom
7 Mar 2013 - 2:45 PM

just check this out from time to time

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

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