Where is photography headed?

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A friend of mine shared a link to a Guardian article  about Kodak and photography. (Thanks Jack Graham). For all of us who grew up on Kodak film ( and then Fuji Film), it was very poignant. The author discussed the demise of Kodak and film and cameras. And tried to make the point that digital and now camera phones have decreased the creativity that we used to see when film was shot. I bet that they didn’t know that in the heyday of Kodak Instamatics, Kodak themselves ran a poll to see what people wanted out of their camera.. The answer; a recognizable image. Not a wonderfully creative image, but only that it was good enough that they could recognize the subject (they didn’t want to wonder if the pic was Uncle Elbert or Aunt Becky). This poll lead to the use of plastic lenses in Kodak Instamatics, because they were “good enough”.

I agree that we are seeing more images than ever before, because you don’t have to pay for processing or printing and sharing can be instantaneous ( no setting up a projector and cueing up the slides from your latest vacation). But I also see more experimentation of photography, which is what creativity is all about. Pro photographers use camera phones and small form cameras to capture images of people in more spontaneous circumstances than when they pull out the big guns. And using these small cameras are fun. And fun leads to more creativity.. Can these small cameras replace our pro cameras? Well, not entirely, yet. But may someday soon. But it is still just a tool. Great photographs are not made by cameras, they are made by photographers with the training, experience, and patience. The camera is but a tool. But a great tool for society sharing life with each other from every where around the globe. I loved shooting film, but never look back and wish for the film days to return!

 

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