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Archive for January, 2018

Well, it’s 2018.  Wow, I can’t believe that it’s been 18 years since we all thought it was going to be the end of the world – 2000.  I can remember all of the preparations we had made to be ready for all the computer systems to start failing because of the date changes that would occur in Y2K.   People on standby, system engineers babysitting systems, backups galore.  But at midnight it was BAU.  Yeah, there were a few hiccups, but nothing that would bring down civilization as we know it.  Just change. But people fear change and often build imaginary issues to resist it.

I resisted closing my studio location for almost a year as I kept seeing the economy and technology bring down the amount of clients and increase the cost of doing business.  Not only that, but it appears that people today don’t care about actual photos and the quality of them.  Most people are content with selfies done on their phones.  Very few actually print the images either.  And, yes, phones are getting better and their images are too.  And software (apps) are making even the worst of photos presentable.  Getting professional photos taken are a waste of money in many peoples eyes. So where does this leave the professionals?  What are people willing to pay for professional photos for?  Where are they looking for a professional to take photos and in what media are they hoping to get the images?  All good questions.  But probably not easy answers.  For instance, weddings.  Wedding photographers are still in demand.  People are willing to spend money on them.  But they are only willing to spend less and the medium has changed in many ways.  Prints?  Not many.  Digital albums and video are becoming more popular.  And if they can easily be transferred to instagram, Facebook, and twitter, the better.

I worry about today’s memories.  In the past we printed everything and put it in a book that we can look at even if we don’t have power.  We can see our past memories and not worry about a disk crashing.   From my interactions with people I’d have to say that most don’t back up any of their moments. When their phone goes “belly up” they lose their past.   And with the speed of technology today, even the backups need to be backed up on the latest technology to endure the effects of time and the discontinuance of older technology.  Such a shame in my “old” opinion.   So, where does this lead us?  What does the future look like?  Is there a place for the past?  Do we just live for the moment  and only for a moment, then the moment’s gone?  I really don’t know, but I’m glad I grew up in an age where memories were important, where technology was not the focus in our lives, where we went outdoors to play and use OUR imaginations and not those of some coder who wants us to live in their imaginary world.  We got dirty, we made pretend items, we had fun.

In my opinion, the world of photography is going down the same path.  Photography as an art is becoming a product of technology and not just ability.  Snap something on your phone, run it through an app, and even Ansel Adams would be amazed with the results.  His zone system incorporated through 1’s and 0’s to perfection and without even a slight thought.   The resulting “art” joyously received by the masses on social media and the “photographer” acclaimed as a master of the craft.   Sigh…

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