No longer a newbie, moving up!
On the one hand I will admit flat out that the advent of digital—with all of its attendant convenience and versatility—is what originally drew me into photography. On the other hand, I can totally understand the sentiments of the photographer in that quote somebody posted about it being “too easy”, with arguably negative implications regarding the “magic and mystery” of the medium, and all that.
It’s the same in recording music. With a 10 year-old PC and less than $1000 worth of equipment I can churn out a recording of a multi-track song in my basement that would easily rival what was previously only possible in multi-million dollar studios. You think digital trickery is rampant in photography? If you dare to torture yourself for the sake of edification, check out a Bieber or Spears album… with all the layering, digital pitch correction, auto-tuning, brick-wall limiting, and all manner of other mangling, you will see what it really means to have a “creative result” that doesn’t remotely resemble the source material.
But, it’s pretty easy to see how we got here. Just like the vast majority of the booboisie can’t (or, at least, won’t) enjoy a meal unless it’s drenched in sodium, animal fat, and sweeteners, they are drawn to saccharine fakery in creative media, like mosquitoes to a bug zapper. Thus, the clown-shoes HDR dreck from Brady McTwitterpants receives 10,000 “likes” on the social network, while the technically flawless, artfully composed, and minimally manipulated image from J. Cellulose McGee gets just a few dozen. Anxious to claim the largest slice possible of the “likes” pie, newcomer hobbyist Bonnie Facebookian, with Instagram-equipped iPhone in hand, sets her sights on the work of Mr. McTwitterpants for inspiration, and the cycle continues.
Yeah, it sucks, but what are you gonna do about it? Just try to make art that excites you, and if somebody else happens to find it exciting as well, that’s just icing on the cake.
Love your colorful expression of current phone photographers. That was great reading.... you do have a very valid point though.