In our ever changing world of technology digital photography and social media has changed many things about when, where, why and how we take photos. Matter of fact I ask the question; are they really photographs? After all “photographs” were images that were on a special paper and we framed them for display or put them in photo albums for safe keeping and to go back and view from time to time. Today as a photographer I find myself calling them images rather than “photographs.” So then I question; what does that make me? Am I an image maker and not a photographer anymore? It is really funny when you actually stop and think about it. Even with video now days, there is no video tape so most time I say “I captured video” rather than say “I recorded video.”
So with social media most times we view are photos or images on some sort of backlit device be it a phone, tablet or monitor. This makes me question; is there still a need for a hard copy print? I have blogged about this in the past and have stated that for me there is nothing better than opening that box when it arrives from my print source and holding the actual hard copy print in my hand. I will even view it in different light and hold it up to the wall to see how it will look. Then of course there is the framing and finding that special place to hang it. Then I can say the act of capturing the image is complete. I don’t know what it is, but opening that box when it arrives is like Christmas morning for me, the anticipation is actually a joyful feeling and not a nervous one.
But we still have this whole social media explosion going on and it is a big part of many people’s lives. There is viewing and sharing of images that goes on so much that we hardly remember a time when we didn’t do it. And if you are of the younger generation you can’t remember a time you didn’t post and share because you have done it your whole life. So why do we take photos? Why not, every phone has a camera in it and cameras in the phones are getting better every year. Where do we take photos? Everywhere, we take photos of our food, something people rarely ever did before the camera in the phone. And the “selfie,” you can’t go on social media and not find photos of people taking photos of themselves. So without a doubt it has all changed.
And now I ask you; who needs a photographer when everybody has a camera in their phone. Ok… so first I have to say “you know how irritated I get when people start comparing their iPhone to a DSLR. Yes the iPhone takes good photos but it is as far from a DSLR as a production Porsche road car is to a Porsche powered Formula One car. The guy driving his Porsche to work is a legend in his own mind, not a Formula One driver. Same goes for the iPhone and a DSLR, enough said.
The Photo Shoot: With all the changing in today’s photography, photographers still find a place where they can hold a firm stand and will most likely always be needed. Now I define a “photographer” as a person who actually has knowledge that goes past the entry level DSLR and editing using Photoshop Elements. I define the “photographer” as someone who knows, the camera settings like the back of his/her hand, lighting techniques, posing, editing skin tones, fixing problems such as the bug that landed on the nose during that special moment ect… Then there is printing… Wait… did I say printing? Sure, we can still print images; after all it is a little bit expensive to go around hanging large screen monitors to view our images. While a 16×20 inch photograph is a whole lot easier and cheaper to mount. And a “photographer” is going to have the proper lens for the type of shot being captured.
To be continued…