3 Insights on the Evolution of Photography & Filmmaking (via Photoshop Touch)

photoshop touch chase jarvisI’m sitting in the green room right now about to take the stage with Adobe CTO Kevin Lynch down here in LA. By the time you’re reading this, I’ve just announced a new tablet form of Photoshop called Photoshop Touch (coming to iOS!!).

As I sit here running through the script for the show that’s live in 5 minutes, I stumbled upon a thought that is both sweet and bizarre. It’s this: The psd image I’m using for the demo was something I shot a few years ago. I shot it with a $40,000 camera. With a $6,000 dollar lens, and a $25,000 lighting package. And the first time we worked up this shot in post production, it took an entire day on a $10,000 computer using software priced at $1500 bucks. (Collectively that’s a lot of zeros.)

And yet, here I am today–just a few years later–I don’t own any cameras that cost that much. An image of the same quality can readily be captured with $2,000 worth of gear. I’m able to work up this multi-layered PSD image LIVE in under 5 minutes on a touch-enabled tablet that’ll cost a couple hundred bucks and is running software that (although pricing isn’t out yet) will probably be cheaper than my lunch.

Talk about a dramatic shift. I think it’s cool. Maybe you’ll hate me for that. But regardless of what I think, here are three ideas I request you take away:

1. Our industry needs to stop bemoaning the rapid changes it’s seeing. We’re not alone. Think of the shifts in 100 other industries that happening concurrently. We’re not alone.

2. No one is trying to push you out. There is no enemy, no one to hate. There is only art, technology, information, and market dynamics.

3. You can do this. You can decide what part of the story you’ll be in — and there is no right answer, you just need to decide and move forward so that you’re not caught in never-neverland. You can be fully in the old story, fully in the new story, or have a foot in both camps (people still shoot film and digital…). I just recommend that you get your head straight as to what camp you want to be in and get comfortable with it.

It’s a lot more healthy — and effective — than becoming a cork in the tide.

22 Responses to 3 Insights on the Evolution of Photography & Filmmaking (via Photoshop Touch)

  1. alex kent October 3, 2011 at 11:49 am #

    “An image of the same quality can readily be captured with $2,000 worth of gear.”

    what about the $25,000 lighting? you might be able to shoot today with a 5Dmk2 what you shot a few years ago on a P25 but the cost of high speed flash lighting is still massive.

    • Nick B October 3, 2011 at 12:22 pm #

      PCB Einstein with pocket wizards MC2 radio system and you can get amazingly fast shutter speeds for not much money.

  2. brec October 3, 2011 at 11:53 am #

    A copy writer told me that it’s a pretty good time to be a writer these days. Everyone wants to be a designer, an Art Director, a photographer. Surprisingly it’s pretty cheap to write. I don’t get the whole equipment debate at all. I rather go with Sir Mixalot where he stated that it’s cool that a lot of people own cameras and are able to see the difference in your vision and style and that’s what you get hired for. Although that’s pretty hard to understand at the beginning as it is to articulate what your style is and take advantage of it.

  3. marlon de jesus October 3, 2011 at 12:08 pm #

    Been hearing of this for quite a while now. I can’t wait to try Photoshop Touch for myself. For someone who worked for Adobe before.. this really is an exciting news

  4. Hasnain Syed October 3, 2011 at 2:06 pm #

    Totally agree Brec. Copywriting is such an overlooked & undervalued field. Its a tool that adds value to anyone – designers, developers, photographers, etc…

  5. James October 3, 2011 at 3:56 pm #

    Any ETA on release? As I see that’s a Android (YAY!!) Tablet you are using there. Very much looking forward to a Photo Editing App that is more then just a few minor adjustment or bunch of presets that will make use of the power these 2nd Gen Tablets have.

    • Anonymous October 3, 2011 at 8:42 pm #

      wanna be clear – the tablet isn’t mine – only avail in testing on androd for now. but prime reason I was pysched to do this is cause it’s coming to ipad/iOS. I asked CTO Kevin Lynch on stage, point blank and he confirmed.

  6. TimR October 3, 2011 at 5:24 pm #

    Adobe also announced some other “creativity apps” along with PS Touch, some of which are aimed at pre-production (like mood boards, drawing, and color schemes). It’s a great time to be focusing on what to photograph or film, rather than how.

  7. Fernando October 4, 2011 at 1:15 am #

    Chase – awesome, I agree and it’s a message for all of us. I have feet in music, photographic and non-ficiton writing (OK, that’s three feet, but bare with me), all those fields are experiencing the same dynamics and have, in different ways, opportunities that arise, if we embrace them. Thank You!

  8. fas October 4, 2011 at 5:13 am #

    Interesting observation, I think many of the valid points can be deciphered using the photoshop touch on the iPad!

  9. Mike Folden October 4, 2011 at 8:12 am #

    You gotta evolve. There’s no stopping the flood of change. Either ride the wave or sink. It’s tough because it’s always changing and right when you get to where you think you know what you’re doing, you realize you don’t. I do like the constant challenge though.

    Great post Chase! I love this disruptive shit!

  10. Chris October 4, 2011 at 9:28 am #

    Those who are intimidated by recent advancements in this field and others are only one thing: insecure.

    Better technology, lower cost of entry, and easier access are wonderful things – they allow those with the vision to prosper where perhaps they wouldn’t have. They also push those without the vision out.

    You could put the exact same camera, the exact same lighting tools, and the exact same software in all of our hands – Chase Jarvis would still make more meaningful art that the rest of us.

    • Mike Folden October 4, 2011 at 2:44 pm #

      The more affordable things get, the more amazing artists have access and can create. Photography shouldn’t be limited to those with dough. Totally agree man.

  11. nancy hendrickson October 4, 2011 at 11:41 am #

    I love the advances and I love my Olympus Camera. I no longer have to lug around multiple lenses. I can take as many photos as I want in order to get that perfect shot without the expense of film. My 12 megapixel Olympus SP590UZ, which is basically a fancy point and shoot with 26x optical zoom allows me to shoot photos that have been published in magazinse, a newsletter for a group I volunteer for, and on big screens used for advertising as well as the website of a local garden center. It is light weight and I can hold it steady and shoot while going 60 miles an hour sitting on the back of my husbands motorcycle. The only problem I have is keeping up with all the technology and figuring out how to use the photo enhancing software.

  12. Melissa- San Diego Wedding Photographer October 5, 2011 at 9:52 am #

    Excellent advice Chase! Pro quality equipment is just going to become more accessible to the masses. That’s not going to change so we just need to stop worrying about it and move on. We have to sell our selves and our vision. I’m trying to be very conscious of what people are asking for now and figure out how to give it to them instead of feeling angst about it. It’s not worth the fight.

    • amisiano October 13, 2011 at 9:50 pm #

      newer doesn’t always mean better.
      I love digital photography and it enhanced my work
      tremendously. Now I am also doing a lot of Film Photography.
      While moving forward I think we are just ADDING tools, it doesn’t mean we have to eliminate the old ones.

  13. Mitch Inverso December 3, 2011 at 5:30 pm #

    Completely understand what your stance in this matter. Though I’d disagree on some of the finer particulars, I feel you did an awesome job explaining it. Sure beats having to analysis it on my own. Thanks.


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