The Photography world is a prime example of technology’s ability to advance itself exponentially year after year. The very first image ever produced was in 1826, soon after people were standing still for long exposure photographs being taken by big cameras with bellows under black clothes.When I started my pursuit in photography, in 2000, digital existed, but nobody liked it. Film still had digital on quality, therefore I learned my craft on a film camera, I’d develop my own film and print my own photographs in a lab. Fast forward 12 years and we’re existing the era of point and shoot camera, digital cameras and we’re taking all the photos we need on our phones. My phone has more megapixels than my first digital camera did 7 years ago that I paid over about $1,000 for.
Where is photography going? Good question. As a professional photographer I’ve often found myself wondering if my job would become obsolete in the future. If photographs will start to come from video clips, they’ll just freeze a frame and it will be so high quality that there won’t be a need to separate the genres any longer. This is certainly a likely possibility.A recent announcement from Adobe, “undo photo blur” will be a huge game changer. We will soon have the ability to take an image that is out of focus, and turn it into a sharp, usable image. The digital advances have already blurred the line between consumer, prosumer and professional. The photography world is now filled with novices who buy DSLR cameras with kit lenses and advertise on Craigslist selling images burned onto CD. This has cut into the profits of actual trained, or self taught professionals who spend years perfecting their skills and selling their product for industry standards, and now with the advances in post processing, images may not even have to be in focus to be usable.I’m sure photographers who have 20 years on me had similar fears and thoughts when the first wave of digital cameras came onto the scene. It’s only normal to fear that your career choice will somehow be rendered useless in the decades to come. While more people than ever have access to nearly professional grade equipment, it’s what they do or don’t do with them that counts. The professional look of studio lighting will always have it’s place in portraiture, advertising and commercial genres. The internet alone is a mecca of modern day imagery, so while photos can literally come from anywhere now, a phone, a computer, a keychain, more photos are being seen on a global basis than ever before. The future of photography will be interesting to watch unfold in the years to come.