Monday, March 09, 2015

Times? They are a change'n...

As I submitted in the comment section (though it's yet to be cleared for public consumption) over on Mike Johnson's Online Photographer blog, it doesn't take being Nostradamus to accurately predict the End Days of "traditional" photography.  iOS and Android have won the hearts and minds of casual and "serious" photographers alike and there's no going back.

A friend sent a link to an interesting article on this very topic.  One of my favorite quotes is...

Technology has transformed photos from treasured keepsakes to personal propaganda

This goes some ways to supporting a thought I shared in an early post on the topic.  Cultural narcissism is a driving force behind photography these days.  Anyone can, so anyone does.  To the tune of uploading 1.8BILLION images a day to the internet.  Much the uploads are "selfies" and photos of cats, or so it seems.

In a little more serious article, Vincent Laforet predicts the end of the still camera for everyone but the "pros."

Professional photographers (if they still exist then… and I think many, or to be honest some will) will continue to make photographs with DSLR/ Medium format and perhaps mirrorless still cameras – but the vast majority of photographers will continue the exodus towards smartphones...

The software that is installed on those smartphones and iPhones and what you can do with it supersedes the advantage that any one camera system alone gives you for most of us – professionals will continue to need specialty lenses, lights, and larger megapixels to differentiate themselves from the masses...

I don't think Vincent went far enough.  I believe how we consume images has forever altered the very need for a "pro" to create something for us.  So while specialty lenses might make some of us happy, and sports, nature, and wedding photographers can manage their images "look" and "reach" by carefully choosing a lens, none of this is really, actually desired nor required by our "Look At ME!" culture.

Further, Sony seems to already have this covered.  You can have a fully networked imaging system with Big Pixels _and_ your Favorite Lenses at the same time.  Take a look at the QX1 and see if you don't agree.

It's interesting to see for the vast vast majority of button pushers mobile phones are more than sufficient to create wonderful images.  iOS and Android have become the Canon/Nikon/Fuji/Olympus imaging platforms of olden days.

Honestly?  The "need" for someone hire someone else who can monkey a hugely complex camera to record an event or to advertise a product is going away.  What made "professionals" unique is evaporating right before our eyes.

My prediction is that within 4 years pro photographers who make their livings through image making will be as rare as hens teeth.  Either that or they'll have a cell phone to help do the work.

If you don't believe me, take a look at these images.

[UPDATE: Mike's blog just posted further comments on the topic]

Wine Store Window

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