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Is photography becoming too easy?

The post Is photography too easy? first appeared at Digital Photography School. It is written by Carl Spring.

Photography becomes too easy

The auto focus on the Sony A9 is great! Set it to AF for the eyes, point in the direction of the subject and let it do the rest. It's almost too easy.

Everyone is a photographer nowadays. It has never been easier or cheaper to take good quality photos. People sincerely believe that the camera takes these fantastic pictures. I'm sure you've heard this as often as I have; "You take beautiful pictures, you must have a great camera."

With the technology we see now, I sometimes wonder if they have a point?

We now have cameras on mobile phones, which not long ago professional photographers, who paid thousands for their cameras, had dreamed of being able to use. Watch the ' shot on iPhone ' campaign and watch Instagram daily. People can take great photos with a few clicks and with minimal effort.

Has modern technology democratized photography, or does it mean that photography has become easy?

Technology continues to make things easier. But that didn't start with digital!

Technology has always tried to make things easier. Be that the TV remote control or the digital camera. The digital camera was simply the answer from the technology industry on the market. Consumers wanted a camera that could take endless photos. Companies that noticed this need used emerging technology to respond to their customer demands. So, making digital cameras & changing the face of photography forever.

Let's get rid of this early. There was no comparison between recording of digital and film recordings. After the first generations with their inevitable teething problems and a huge price tag, photography became incredibly easy with digital. Immediate feedback told you whether you had the recording or not. You were not limited by 24 or 36 exposures (or less if you recorded a medium format). Finally, photography became much cheaper after the first release, because there were simply no processing accounts.

Depending on who you ask, the digital evolution is either the moment someone got into photography or the start of the decline. However, let's think back a bit. If you had shot wet plates, imagine how easy those 35mm film punks were.

Imagine that when autofocus cameras ' s meant that you no longer needed the skill of manual focusing? Well, that's just ridiculous! Imagine a flash that didn't need the incredibly dangerous use of flash powder. The ability to refocus after the photo is still in its infancy, but I see that it is a mainstay of any camera in less than ten years.

Technology helps make people's lives better. The most common way to make things better is often to make things easier. In the modern world, we adapt quickly and then quickly rely on the new technology that we use. It becomes a part of our lives and frees the vital brain space. With every innovation photography, from the first camera, it was about making it easier to save a moment in time.

Do you remember that we only had 18 megapixels, or 12 or six! How did we do with just nine auto-focus points instead of focus points across the entire sensor? Focus points that you don't really need to use because the camera finds, locks, and locks the eyes of people (and animals) and all you have to do is decide which eye you want to focus on.

I mean, imagine how photojournalists in the 80s would react to a modern digital camera? If you go back even further, do you suggest to the painters in the 16th century that there would ever be a box that meticulously captured the image of the person and that you should only leave light in a box?

I remember the first 0.5 MP digital camera I ever used. It was like magic. You could see the photo immediately and you never had to pay for the processing. I was addicted immediately. Although I had a worthless job, I saved hard for a digital item and took photos and started taking photos again. I occasionally photographed on an SLR camera, but I could rarely afford to buy and process film. I even took an evening school to gain access to a darkroom and shoot everything in black and white.

The Pentax 3-Megapixel camera that I had saved for months to own changed my world. The quality was not that good. I had no control over the shutter speed or aperture, but I was able to take photos. Hundreds of them. Always. It was life-changing. I had started filming more, but this digital camera brought me back. I became addicted again. Without the 0.5 Megapixel camera that I would use in my work, I probably wouldn't even write this.

Photography becomes too easy - Lancaster bomber lands

The right place, the right time, but only a telephone and not a DSLR. Still, I still get an image like this.

Does equipment make you a better photographer?

We are photographers and we love to eat. The newest this, the better that. Camera companies spend millions to convince us that we need new equipment. Will the newest Sony with the stunning eye-auto focus really make your photos better? No. Will it make them easier? No doubt yes.

But thanks to another wonderful technological invention – the internet – many of us spend more time talking about megapixels than actually using them.

We are as guilty as the influencers who "don't even use a real camera" because we are the opposite. Instead, we have pixel pixels that look at the sharpness of the corners four million percent and then it is a bad impression how a manufacturer could let go of a piece of nonsense.

A telephone camera can take the most breathtaking photo, worthy of an art gallery. Conversely, a medium-sized camera with multiple megapixels and the best lens can take a snapshot.

Photography becomes too easy 3

50 years ago this photo was taken on a modified film camera. Equipment does not matter as much as you think. Image courtesy of NASA.

Digital makes it easy, but so much harder to stand out

Estimates suggest that more than one trillion photos were taken in 2018 (if you want to see the zeros, one trillion is 1,000,000,000,000). Ninety-five million photos are uploaded to Instagram every day. Add to that the three hundred hours of footage uploaded to YouTube every minute and the number of photos ' s and video ' s we produce is staggering. Although you cannot deny that digital has made this possible, digital has also made it much harder to stand out.

Camera manufacturers are good at making people believe they are artists – that everyone has a great movie. In the same way that everyone has a great novel, song or painting in them, begs to come out. In reality that is not the truth. Photography (for me at least) is art. And art is, for better or worst, elitist.

Some people aren't great artists and some aren't great songwriters. And many people are not great photographers.

The problem is, with so many bad and average things out there, how do you get to see the good things? In some cases not. There are photographers who take photos that are simply one of the best ever taken. However, we will never see them. There are filmmakers who make short films with which they could open the doors of Hollywood, but they don't. Instead, our feeds are filled with even more cat memes and average pictures we've seen thousands of times before.

We drown in content.

It is at the point where photography seems to be a popularity competition rather than artistry.

See how Canon treated Yvette Roman because she didn't have 50,000 followers or more on YouTube. Let that penetrate. A photographer whose style they liked for a job that they decided to hire was simply replaced because of her lack of numbers. That shows how companies want to hire photographers who can use their social channels to add to the marketing campaign.

We live in the era of the influencer, where great photographers are rejected because they have no followers. On the other hand, someone who only uses his phone for photography can get thousands to show that he is using a certain item. They travel the world for free because they are popular on Instagram.

This system makes perfect sense from a marketing point of view. However, most of us spend time on these platforms and discover new content. That is why algorithms now determine the amount of photos to which we are exposed.

An algorithm does not care about quality; it cares about statistics. The goal is to find popular content and make it available to more people. Does this mean that photography is reduced to fun? In many ways, yes, but it also shows the power of a story.

Photography becomes too easy 4

My 6 year old took this photo. Sharp, well-exposed and decent color. Not even a DSLR, just a compact device.

A camera does not yet know how to tell a story

We live in a time where you can throw your work so that the whole world can see it. The photography level has never been this high. I can give my six-year-old a camera and he can take sharp, well-exposed photos and tell the stories of his lego figures. But a camera, not really technology, can still create an image that tells a story.

A great photo always tells a story. It ensures that we want to know more about the moment. It enables us to create our own story based on what we see in the image and our world view. The story I see on a photo will be different than yours. Maybe you hate a photo that I love and vice versa.

This is simply not possible with the best camera. No Ai chooses the perfect moment to click on the shutter release button. Yes, cameras can do 20 frames per second or more, but even then you cannot record continuously every second of the day. You need to find the corner, frame your subject in the way your story tells and then press the shutter button. Really, the technical aspect (regardless of how much the camera companies convince us otherwise) is not where the photo was taken. It is not sharp in the corner – many great photos are not sharp. It is the story that you tell.

The story is what you have to learn. Telling a story is difficult. It has always been difficult, and the technology is far from being able to do it for us.

You make the decisions before you press the shutter button. You use the light, the subject and you find the corner. Then open a box and let in some light for a little bit. It has always been the same. It's just that technology over the years has made it easier to leave the light in the box and get the picture sharp if that's important to you.

Photography becomes too easy - guitarist plays solo

Whatever the camera is, knowing the moment to press the shutter button is still a skill that is not yet controlled by the computer.

The future

I am sure you have seen it all? It finally happened – a couple hired a robot to shoot their wedding! Yes, I know that for the time being it is only an alternative to a photo standard, but it does give a hint to the future. Are we going to get used to weddings where drones automatically take photos that are better than humans can capture? Photos that can then be immediately adjusted by the bride and groom at the touch of a button (or voice command)? Does this mean that people become superfluous in many fields of photography? Do they only need a device; a robot?

Will my future as the owner of a photography company be the property of several robots? The ten-year-old version of me prays that this is true. Or will people not have to hire anyone? Maybe photography is built into their daily devices? Shall we become so vain that a device follows us in recording our daily lives and then uses an algorithm to choose the best moments for us to share on social media? (Let's hope not! – Editor)

What do you think? Share your comments below with us.

photography becomes too easy 6

The post Is photography too easy? first appeared at Digital Photography School. It is written by Carl Spring.

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