lets start it rolling again


TPF Noob!
Feb 1, 2006
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in the middle of north carolina
Can others edit my Photos
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I wonder when the first 'real' photographer said they have reduced photography from an art form to the lowest common denominator. I expect it was when kodak started marketing brownies.

What blasphamy, why those johnny come latelys didn't even know how to make a glass plate. How could anyone take them seriously. None of them every apprenticed or studied painting. The art was destined for the trash can right there.

Well it managed to survive. A few people still made quality photographs and people still bought them.

If you listen to most of us old farts, what you hear is all these guys go out and buy a camera and a light and learn just enough to put the darn thing on auto. Most of them can at least point it in the right direction. This is the second generation of photography for the masses. The 35mm slr really started it in the sixties. They were light, and compact so they were easy to handle and made really good pictures. All the manufacturers learned quickly the easier you made them to use, the more you could sell. They were't in the business of advancing the quality of the trigger pullers, just in selling cameras. mediocraty rules. (This is a good time to beg for spell check here).

So this isnt the first time mass marketed and produced photo technology scared hell out of old purists. It's a different market and expectations are lower now. I'm glad I'm out of the business. No, I don't think this is the end of professional photography. Most of the younger photographers will embrace it and the ones with the training and the experience will most likely do quite well. There will also be the ones who shoot just well enough to impress those who shoot worse.

Most likely there will be more and more specialty photographers. But less and less of the prom picture type things going on. Will it kill walmart studio... that's another issue all together. I would think they would be the most vulnerable. When mom can take all the great shots she wants and delete all the crap, why have studio shots of the kid made to send aunt ethel. Shes the one with the inheritance you know.

So what is the bottom line on this new photo world. It's that I'm terribly out of step, but them most of us old timers always were. The norm in the sixties wasn't to shoot pictures for a so called living. The norm was to get a real job as my dad used to say.

I was told the world is changing like it or not... Yep it sure is and I don't like it... Hell I'm not even going to acknowledge that it has chaged... I don't have to I'm an old fart lol. There is room on the net and I hope room on this forum for all kinds of us. You might have to have the old film guys step to the rear of the bus though.
I pretty muchly agree. I'm glad I already have a real job; I fit into the flood of mediocrity, right where I can impress those few who suck worse than I do.

I'm hoping, though, that I can impress a few more by years' end. This is a fascinating journey for me, an exercise in increasing technical proficiency and also learning to recognize artistic qualities. In studying photography, I'm finally learning to understand the obscure, subjective stuff that my overly-technical mind just never got before. I think I'm gradually beginning to be able to apply it to my own endeavors, as well.

The flood of mediocrity, if it is in fact happening (which I'm not keen on judging; I'll leave that to those more learned than I), should eventually even out. Law of diminishing returns (ironic way to express it, I think). When that happens, then those who are trying to learn, and are learning, to exceed the average level of quality, will begin to raise the average again.

Or am I just optimistic?
Composition remains composition. Content remains content.

These two parameters will always distinguish the fine print from the snapshot.
But then composition and content are such broad concepts and as they say, 'one mans food is another mans rubbish'. I think mysteryscribe has hit the nail on the head when he talks about learning being the key (to paraphrase) as there are plenty of people who go out and take shot which could be very good but end up with junk through a lack of skill, myself included. Composition and content are always going to be very personally driven things and I beleive that it's having the skill to to express your composition well that is the key, after all, no one goes and takes a photo they think is crap before they press the shutter.

I'd be very interested in hearing more about the older style of photography I've heard you talk of a few times mysteryscribe, it would be nice to see a different approach to taking shots. Having said that I'm currently trying to learn one hell of a lot of things so might not be able to give it the time it deserves...

anyway, that's my two pence worth!
You might notice how happy us oldtimers are to pass along wanted and unwanted advice. It what old men do, but it's also how history was passed on before the written word.

Old guys sitting around a buring oil can, passing around a bottle in brown paper bag, telling tales.

About one in a hundred kids might sit and listen, but a few of those became the old men standing arount the quartz heater telling tales in fifty years.
I think that I just do not understand the mind of a "purist". Digital is too new to predict it's impact. Photography has always battled ease and connivence vs the finer points of the art. Painting and sculpture do not battle that to the degree that photography does. My point is that photography is fun! Someone likes to take photos; more power to them. I also like to consider that the "snapshot" can turn into a beautiful thing down the road. Our lives are constantly changing. Looking at said photo 10 years from now secures it as a moment in time. Someone posts a crappy photo and thinks it is great; fine. Not like it will effect my photography. Is society accepting shoddy work? Maybe.

Proud to say that I have been in the business for 20 plus years. I soak up current trends like a sponge. I have worked with 70 year old photographers and I have worked with 20 year old photographers. Our common denominator is that we love the art. Photography is what we do and there is no turning back now.

Bottom line is that we embrace the advantages digi provides. I still work with film. For me both can coexist.

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