The Demise of the Snapshot?

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by sillyphaunt, Mar 19, 2005.

  1. sillyphaunt

    sillyphaunt TPF Noob!

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    My photography teacher brought this up awhile ago in our photog class, and I thought it was a good point.

    The trend is certainly that most people are going digital. Most people that have no interest in photography other than capturing memories are going digital because of the convenience and quick turn around. This is great for getting good shots, but it also reduces the "oops" pictures that you have.

    How many of us used to shoot rolls of film and then go thru them and laugh at all the goofy pictures we ended up with? Eyes closed, mouths open, people not looking at the camera, etc etc. Those kind of pictures are now deleted right after they're taken, and at the very least, they stay on the computer, never to be printed.

    Now, I find when I go back and look at photos from 20 years ago, the ones that I like the most many times are the unplanned snapshots that at the time were probably considered throw aways. Especially when considering the memory qualities of a picture, those types of photographs a lot of the time show the character and personality of people better than a perfectly posed photo.

    My question is, now that so many people are going digital.. where will be be 50 years from now in terms of having pictures that will endure? Most people (at least ME) have thousands of pictures on their harddrive, but do they eever end up being printed? Especially the people that don't take care to backup and print pictures to save them, those photos that would have once been at least printed and stored away somewhere are now lost forever.

    Do you think this will cause us to lose a lot of our "history"? Especially in terms of the day to day things? I look at photos from the 50s and such, and I"m more interested in the snapshot type than the ones that were probably considered "Good".

    Just something I thought was interesting. Please feel freee to add your thoughts. :)
     
  2. Corry

    Corry Flirtacious and Bodacious Supporting Member

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    Hmmm...that's a very good point. I've never thought about it. I really think those types of pictures will be missed.
     
  3. Hertz van Rental

    Hertz van Rental TPF Noob!

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    Do you know how many rolls of film have been shot since Photography started? How many negs and photos that people have taken have been thrown away, lost, burned, destroyed? It's in the nature of a photograph to be ephemeral. I don't think it is really going to make much of a difference.
    Think of what happened to all those silent movies.
     
  4. Kent Frost

    Kent Frost TPF Noob!

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    Most of my photography is party photography, so of the 6500+ photos of parties, pretty much all of them are snapshots. A good majority of them are shots like you've described. And I love doing that because the next day when people get on the internet to look at them, they see what silly pose I caught them in. I don't think it will make much of a difference, because if you pay attention to other people (whether you know them or just happen to be near them) when they're taking photos. Unless they are a bit more camera and photo savvy than the average Joe, they still don't pay any more attention than if they were using film.
     
  5. mrsid99

    mrsid99 TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    I don't really think that digital will reduce the number of "oops" pictures, it's just that they're easy to delete and if there's something of interest in there why would they delete them?
     
  6. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    I think that digital will create even more snapshots, it's just that they won't get saved. Somehow the physical presence of film and prints makes people tend to store them, while the ease of deleting files when trying to reclaim hard drive space might mean that seemingly unimportant image files just get trashed.

    The classic story of this is that of the photographer who had the photo of President Clinton hugging Monica. When the photo was taken, no body knew who Monica was. The photographer was surrounded by dozens of other news photographers taking the same photos he was. There were many photos taken of that hug, but a year later when every body found out who Monica was, only that one guy had the pic. He was the only one shooting film, and he saved it, while everyone else was shooting digital, and their editors deleted the pics of the President hugging another anonymous intern.

    There is a gap in the photographic record when color film first hit the shelves. It wasn't very archival, and most of those snapshots are faded and gone. I think safe, secure, and very cheap digital storage is something that the future will take for granted. It's needed for many aspects of the computer age besides photography. So soon I think all those digital snaps will be safe, although losing one file amidst millions may end up being about the same as deletion.
     
  7. sillyphaunt

    sillyphaunt TPF Noob!

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    Good points Everyone. :)
     
  8. vonnagy

    vonnagy have kiwi, will travel...

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    another point to consider - people think that hard drive space space is limited - it becoming less of a consideration. Case hard drives get bigger and bigger, now with double sided dvd's, why delete. Google is offering 2gb mail storage, other storage facilities will increases as well.

    the digi photographers would chuck a lewisky/clinton photo away in '98 because storage technology was limited then; its simply not the case anymore. Viva la 120 Gig hard drives and double sided dvd's! 8)


    I have 200 gb of storage cd's and dvd's. Everything gets saved, jpg's and psd's because its easy to do with today's technology. Then again, when it comes to photography, i am a notorious packrat!

    Another thing, you forgetting how many of these crap shots appear on websites, though they are not printed - they are even more accessible because everyone in the world has a chance to see them!
     

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