We’re Not Drowning In Photography, We’re Getting Rich

Erik Kessel - Photography in Abundance“I can’t get over the feeling that pictures taken with a camera in a phone that everyone owns [iphone] have no value.” – Excerpt from APhotoEditor, Drowning in Photography

Sorry APE, forgive me for being prescriptive, but you’d better get over that feeling.

Just because “everyone’s doing it” — because there are a lot of photos out there in the world — doesn’t mean photography is headed for the shitter.

Two counter points cutting through to some clarity:

1. A similar argument “everyone’s doing it so photography is now lowbrow” was used in 1895 when Kodak developed roll film that could be loaded in daylight. The professionals argued that craft was now “completely lost to the amateurs”. Obviously that played out as an error in thinking, since nearly all the modern photographic “masters” have grown into being since this time in 1895, not before.

It’s just like your favorite band getting famous and then hating them for it, or talking shit about Nike and wearing Converse high tops – there’s no truth there. Nirvana changed music forever, regardless of how popular they became, and Nike owns Converse. The complaint about value is more about protecting the egos of hipsters, than a reflection of reality.

Now, before all photographers who have to work harder to make a living because of this (of which I am one) get mad, … we should remember #2:

2. Sure professional photographers must work harder today to differentiate their work, but that’s the case with almost every profession that invokes technology, or the fusion of technology and creativity. It gets harder to make the “same as it used to be” living over time in a crowded market. But this is not something that only photographers have to contend with. Almost ALL these such markets are getting more crowded. What marketplace stands still for its masses? None. Welcome to a nearly ubiquitous truth.

So, as I advocated in my Dasein Project, it might not be what some photographers want to hear, but let’s think of this a little differently. I prefer to make the argument that the snapshot has become perhaps the most human, the most important photography of our modern era. Professionals are still relevant for making statements and defining brands, genres, and movements, but it’s the snapshot that is today carrying the most metaphysical weight. Sure they’re everywhere, but that doesn’t make them worthless.

A great quote from a paper by Mia Fineman, photography curator at the Metropolitan Museum in NYC, comes to mind…

“We take snapshots to commemorate important events, to document our travels, to see how we look in pictures, to eternalize the commonplace, to extract some thread of continuity from the random fabric of experience. We try to impose a kind of order, but sometimes the process backfires, and the messy contingency of the world rushes back in, bringing with it a metaphoric richness that parallels that of dreams. The amateur photo-album is an anthology of errors: there are tilted horizons, amputated heads, looming shadows, blurs, lens flares, underexposures, overexposures, and inadvertant double exposures. And while not every bungled snapshot is a minor miracle, some seem to tap into a sort of free-floating visual intelligence that runs through the bedrock of the everyday like a vein of gold.”


So let’s reconsider the snooty position. Of course curators are important, whether that’s your friends Tumblr site or the MOMA, but with more cameras and more photos than ever before–and even BETTER photos–shouldn’t it be said that we’re not drowning in photography at all, that we’re perhaps getting metaphorically rich off more and more of these veins of gold?
——

[above image by Erik Kessels from installation called Photography in Abundance via foam.org, and the quote is from APE's post here]

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90 Responses to We’re Not Drowning In Photography, We’re Getting Rich

  1. Christian Gibson November 21, 2011 at 10:23 am #

    It really annoys me when so called ‘masters’ of photography say that a photo taken on an iPhone is worth less. Some of my most prized and special photos have been taken on an iPhone, as you said just because everyones does it doesn’t make it uncool suddenly!
    And the professional photographers getting cross at people who are supposedly taking their jobs, In my view thats a sign that the ‘professionals’ need to up their game more. In fact the weekend photographer is beneficial to professional photographers because they constantly force the pros to become better and not sit around and never innovating. :)

    • Neilnorman Photo November 22, 2011 at 7:37 pm #

      Annie Leibowitz said the the best camera in the world is the one you have with you…meaning an iphone. I agree some of the best images come from a camera phone. You make a good point about the pro photographer benefiting from the amateur and keeps the pros on their toes.

    • Rob Oresteen November 25, 2011 at 8:27 am #

      “Innovate” for innovations sake? Really? Amateurs are kicking “pros” in the ass? Oh, hail the weekend DB with his 70-300 and 30 gb cards…

      A disclaimer about the “pros”…never a bigger group of DB’s anywhere…just head over to LL and you will see my point.

      Best quote, I think:

      “Amateurs worry about equipment.
      Pros worry about money.
      Masters worry about light.
      Me, I just take pictures.”

      - Vernon Trent

      • Jonny November 29, 2011 at 12:09 pm #

        Too many abbreviations.

    • Anonymous November 27, 2011 at 7:52 am #

      Great point. Just because the average guy enjoys taking pictures of his family or vacation shouldn’t mean a hoot to the PROFESSIONAL. He/she has their job. They should go do better at it and let everyone else alone. Stop being a shooting snob!

      • gio September 3, 2012 at 1:55 pm #

        Photography is made by the light…if you don’t know the light and take photographs and snapshots as they came… well…call it art of our time, if you wish, but don’t call it Photography…please!

    • Nunya Biz May 14, 2012 at 11:29 am #

      Cell phones will never replace a real camera and you will just be laughed at of you pull out a cell phone on any job no matter how many times a commercial trys to tell you a a student with a cell phone is give a half million dollar high fashion shoot. you know why your pictures are crap because you used a cell phone get a real camera kid.

  2. Mike Folden November 21, 2011 at 10:30 am #

    Truth. Really great stance on this subject. No art form or market place will remain the same and avoiding change will ultimately leave you in a lonely boat floating in the past. Change is tough but awesome at the same time. A great man once told me “the minute you think you know what’s going on, you’re completely fucked.” That changed my life.

  3. Jasmine* November 21, 2011 at 10:34 am #

    Couldn’t agree MORE! Amen, homie…amen.

  4. Tom November 21, 2011 at 10:41 am #

    Well argued. A photo is a photo, doesn’t matter what it’s taken with. People don’t take photos for photography, the majority don’t care it the heads cut off, it a bit blurry, or badly composed! And rightly so!

  5. Nicholas Yong November 21, 2011 at 10:42 am #

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts Chase, I find this piece highly relevant with the scene now.

    From my take when asked about a matter like this, I personally liken photography to other creative endeavors – chefs, writers, musicians. Cameras are tools to us, alike knives to chefs, pens to writers, and musical instruments to musicians. Having a thousand dollar knife doesn’t promise a good dish nor does a cheap knife bought down the street from the supermarket promises a bad dish. A similar case to writers, those who can write, will produce good materials despite having only a piece of paper and a 2 years-old crayon set at hand. The bottom line stand I feel, that the people who are able to bring “THE STUFF”, will bring the stuff despite the tools used.

    Having said that, it saddens me to have read that excerpt which is somewhat materialistically-driven, a disgrace to art.

    Regards,
    Nick.

  6. Mark Ippolito November 21, 2011 at 10:55 am #

    Chase–

    Couldn’t agree wtih you more. Whether we’re viewing images from OWS posted to Flickr or snapshots from this week’s gathering of families/friends for our US holiday of Thanksgiving, due to near ubiquitous access to devices and reach of the mobile web, the metaphysical value of images has soared,

    That said, because of the sheer volume of images, we simply do not have the time to see/find the great ones, and therefore curation is more valuable than ever. And curation IS taking place in the social world (eg liking an image on FB immediately increases the likelihood that the image WILL be seen and hence the value of that image) as well as in the professional image market where editors/buyers/producers tag/tweet/blog, etc the most relevant images and/or portfolios for the projects they are trying to execute.

    Bringing together the tools and metadata along with market knowledge and experience are some of the elements required on the professional end to make curation a value-add differentiator. But the outcome should be the same: getting someone to stop and take notice of a truly great image that better informs how we celebrate our world.

    Mark Ippolito, Co-President
    American Society of Picture Professionals, West Coast Chapter

  7. Mark French November 21, 2011 at 11:05 am #

    My question is this, in the mass flood of photography deluging the world in every way, how do we improve the taste of the masses?
    My thought, and what I gather from this article, is “make better photographs”. Thoughts? Opinions? Corrections?

    • Henning Wüst November 22, 2011 at 12:43 am #

      Mark,

      imo that’s a very good thought actually. if the “taste of the masses” is getting worser, isn’t that an advantage for us as photographers? Logically we should more and more stand out.

      Best regards from the arctic circle

      Henning

      • preston November 22, 2011 at 6:04 pm #

        Henning, the problem that lots of photographers are experiencing is that the standard of quality that consumers expect is getting lower, therefore, clients are less willing to pay for professional services when somebody in their office could do the job “good enough”.

  8. Nathan Mills November 21, 2011 at 11:07 am #

    It’s the people like kurt cobain and john lennon etc that just do there own thing – they just do it
    a lot of us just sit on the computer and read and worry – just do YOUR thing and some people will hate it and some people will love it, but at the end of the day does this matter…. just do what makes you happy.

    • Laura November 22, 2011 at 3:21 am #

      Right on!!

  9. Antony Sastre November 21, 2011 at 11:11 am #

    Finally someone agrees and echoes my view on todays evolving photography. Because that’s what’s happening – photography is EVOLVING!

    The vast amount of photography out there is contributing a knowledge. A knowledge of how hard it is to make an iconic photo. And how easy it is to just create something bearable, good or “awesome”.

    That knowledge, I believe, will help transform and educate the general public what real photography is all about. They will learn to distantiate! And it will only make those true to the art and true to the hard labor of creating what is considered art stand out even more. It’s the lazy ones that will perish.

  10. christian November 21, 2011 at 11:20 am #

    I totally agree, and left a comment to that effect on the APE blog. I find it really discouraging, or should I say disappointing how much envy and ‘hate and discontent’ I find on some of the photo blogs. Sure, the economy and all that is lousy and deserve a ‘bad press,’ but this constant griping about the work of other photographers is most tiresome.

  11. Stephen Olner November 21, 2011 at 11:22 am #

    I agree and disagree at the same time.

    Yes we are drowning in photographs and yes the digital age has devalued the photograph. There are even more disposable than ever. More a more people are getting semi-professional camera and taking work away from pro’s. In my small town alone a number of armature photographers have started charging rock bottom prices because they can afford to and because its not their main source of income. They never take it out of Auto setting and the camera does all the work.

    My wife decided to take up photography a year ago. Through her online degree course and learning from myself she has finally realized the true value of a photograph and what it really takes to make a living from photography.

    Now with the iphone, yes it has a value as far as a record of our time but that record is only good providing the record is kept safe. With film you got a print and a negative that was stored away in an attic that someone could find.100 years later people found them. How many pictures will be around in 20 years time as online storage goes off line, hard drives break and CD’s fail.

    Also if you look at what is being taken with the Iphone/Smart Phone the majority of the images are teenage girls photographing themselves in a bathroom mirror or their car. If those images do manage to stay around i wonder what it will tell future generations about us ?

    • jason November 21, 2011 at 11:45 am #

      I disagree that the majority of iphone/smartphone pictures are teenage girls taking photos in a bathroom mirror. Also, digital pictures must not ONLY live on online storage, hard drives, CDs, or other media you’re talking about. I print a lot of my digital images. Who’s to say those can’t be found in an attic in 100 years?

      Also, how do you know what modes these “armature” photographers use? If they can make some money at doing whatever they can do, they will do so, regardless of what that is. You’d do the same thing. As another poster said, we just need to increase what people value in a photograph.

      • Stephen Olner November 23, 2011 at 6:50 am #

        erm when was the last time you looked at social media…Look at any number of teenage girls on Facebook and you will see an entirely different story.

        No they must not live on online storage but look at what’s happening on the print world regarding the number of photolabs and processing facilities. It’s a known fact that less and less images are being printed. Even the printer manufactures have stated its in decline.

        No i don’t do the same thing and i resent that statement.

        As for the modes they use 9 times out of 10 i get a phone call asking me how they should take the pictures so yes i know.

        I agree we need to increase how people should precieve the value of a photograph but it’s not by doing it this way or charging rock bottom prices

    • Elaine November 21, 2011 at 11:52 am #

      Which is why I make blurb books out of all my favorite images, for when the images disappear. LOL!

  12. Elaine November 21, 2011 at 11:55 am #

    Add into all of this those Art schools which are pumping photographers out by the thousands for 50k-100k for their tuitions so they can make 20K in payment. Who was it that said, you have to make 100K in order to net 20K in actual payment because the rest goes back into the business?

  13. Willie Dalton November 21, 2011 at 12:22 pm #

    Eloquently put, Mr. J. That “drowning” mindset stems from a selfish place, and is counter productive for everyone involved! But if a more selfless attitude is adopted, then the metaphysical “rich” mindset will take hold; adding a few more King Midas’ to our world can and never will be a bad thing. I am so grateful to live in such a rich time.. for if it was 1894, I would be seriously bummed (left) out..

  14. Trudy November 21, 2011 at 12:29 pm #

    Excellent. This is really good. Really. Great way to look at things. I wrote about this before…how pros think our industry is the only one facing these changes. Truthfully we are one of the last facing it. Change comes. Adapt or fade away.

  15. IPHONE KILLED THE CAMERA STAR November 21, 2011 at 1:18 pm #

    PHOTOGRAPHY IS DEAD. YOU CAN NOT MAKE MUCH MONEY IN IT UNLESS YOU ARE ALREADY A WELL KNOWN PRO

  16. Chris Wulff November 21, 2011 at 1:53 pm #

    Well said Chase. The quality of an image shouldn’t be judged by the price of the equipment used to make it. The most expensive gear can still make a lousy picture!
    Being able to duplicate a look or adjust settings to get the shot you (or your client) want is where a better camera helps.
    I love you pov. Keep inspiring!

  17. Scott Cahill Rude November 21, 2011 at 2:27 pm #

    Excellent article, many great points and I couldn’t agree more!

  18. Chris Nemes November 21, 2011 at 4:39 pm #

    Taking two identical images, one with a telephone, the other with a top-class camera, I think we put more value on the one that we know the author was more committed to.

    As aspiring path-setters what can we do? Get even more involved in it.

    Marry photography.

  19. Stephanie Salo November 21, 2011 at 6:05 pm #

    great post – as usual…

  20. c.d.embrey November 21, 2011 at 6:53 pm #

    The quote is taken out of context … and therefore a “Cheap Shot.” Here’s the full quote: “Then, I saw this press release yesterday :

    ‘Aurora Photos is excited to announce the launch of the myPhone Collection of stock photography, a collection of images taken with iPhones and other mobile devices by some of the world’s top photographers and iPhoneographers, and now made available to pictures buyers for both editorial and commercial licensing.’

    What struck me was how worthless I think iPhone images are and how I can’t imagine anyone licensing them.”

    So Rob’s really talking about the idea of a Stock Photo site that Sells Nothing but iPhone images. http://www.auroraphotos.com/ not about how worthless iPhone images are.

    Read the original A Photo Editor article here http://www.aphotoeditor.com/2011/11/15/drowning-in-photography/

    • Andy November 21, 2011 at 11:00 pm #

      Oooh. One guy, two very different quotes. Chase? Your source?

      • Duncan Fawkes November 22, 2011 at 5:11 am #

        It’s from the same article that was linked:

        “What struck me was how worthless I think iPhone images are and how I can’t imagine anyone licensing them. Obviously, this blanket statement cannot be true since it’s never mattered what photographers used to take their pictures with but I can’t get over the feeling that pictures taken with a camera in a phone that everyone owns have no value.”

        …and I agree that the quote has been taken out of context, it was with respect to the “licensing value” of the images, rather than the “artistic value” of the images so was less social commentary than suggested here, even though the two are obviously linked to some extent.

        The final paragraph I think sums it up well:

        “Creating value beyond how a picture was created and what the picture depicts is the most important challenge facing photography professionals today.”

        I think the point here is that it’s not just anti-iPhone snobbery, it’s just a reference to the ubiquity of cameras. And what this is saying it that its not about the tool (how), use a Canon 5D2 or a iPhone 4S (as I do), it’s about the intent behind the image (why). Ubiquity of tools is awesome if we utilise them to say something meaningful that is an expression of our view of the world (of course, you could argue that at some level all images do that), and such images will always have wider value to society.

        (I’d also add that that it’s not just the challenge facing them today as the quote suggests, it’s the challenge that has faced photographers for all time!)

    • Chase November 22, 2011 at 2:37 pm #

      Hey c d – rob is a good friend, so i’m certainly not cheap shoting anyone. so I ardently disagree. if you consider the context under which he’s envoking this discussion — around a photo of an art exhibit wherein the artist has printed 300,000 photos that were uploaded to flickr on a day — its clearly fair game to discuss the larger issue and not just the licensing of iphone images.

  21. Matthew L Kees November 21, 2011 at 9:10 pm #

    +1

  22. Brian M Hays November 22, 2011 at 1:28 am #

    “… more about protecting the egos of hipsters…” I love this line. I think it speaks the truth simply. Whether hipsters or professional photographers, it’s a defensive streak that pushes the negative opinion of photography’s continued democratization.

  23. Alan Langford November 22, 2011 at 5:41 am #

    Well said. Let us instead lament the loss of the accidental double exposure.

  24. stanchung November 22, 2011 at 6:24 am #

    Can’t agree more. Some people open their windows they see mud from yesterday’s downpour, some of us appreciate the nice blue sky warmth of the sun.

  25. Earl November 22, 2011 at 7:20 am #

    I judge it by the reaction of a client working with me for the first time. They have used point and shoot photos before me and they will use point and shoot photos after me, but when they see the work of a professional photographer, they clearly understand its worth, and they see the detriment to their business when they use poor images. I know they can’t hire me for every picture, its just not the economy, but what I do is get them hooked like junkys on the quality of a good image as provided by a professional, so the next time they have a budget for it, they are itching and scratching to get a fix of good photography.

    dont underestimate what you as a photographer play in the role of your worth and work. yes, they are buying the photo, but they are also buying the experience of being involved in a professional photo shoot, and that means alot to some clients, it makes them feel special and prestigious to have a pro on the set, with the lights and the tethered shooting and the feeling of being involved in a big photoshoot. we as pro photogs provide that where as a stay at home mom with a 60d does not.

    we need to take our profession and our service to a new level becuase that is where the future success is, not so much in the image, becuase…well, we are all pretty good at that part already, or we woudn’t be here.

    p.s. correct spelling is for people who don’t run their own company :-P

  26. Martin Beebee November 22, 2011 at 9:19 am #

    Excellent post, Chase. My thoughts have really evolved on this — once subscribing to the idea that more and more cameras made those photos worth less (especially when digital cameras and online photo sharing slammed the stock photo industry).

    But I’m thinking it’s the opposite now, on two levels: (1) The ubiquity of cameras has the potential to create a larger number of valuable photos, because (as you elude to above) those ephemeral, personal moments that are important to use *personally* are more likely to be captured. And (2) the more photos like this are taken, the more potential there is for non-photographers to see the additional value a professional can bring. If a professional can’t compete with all these additional photos, well. . . .

    Nobody here will argue that putting a Nikon D3s in the hands of an amateur will produce professional quality photos. If you’re concerned about how the iPhone is impacting your business, you might be focused on the wrong competition.

  27. Ken Johnson November 22, 2011 at 11:31 am #

    An interesting perspective shared in an entertaining and thought provoking manner. Outstanding.

  28. Shawn Smith November 22, 2011 at 12:26 pm #

    Hey Chase,

    Again you have invoked great debate and discussion about this – to the point of me writing a follow-up to this (I couldn’t help myself) titled “Should we be worried if everyone has a camera?” http://bpho.to/tFRfZe

    Strangely enough though, I didn’t mention anything about this, that relationships with your customers will become even more valuable, if not already, and that the proliferation of cameras has now meant that the ‘image’ is even more sought after.

  29. DanielKphoto November 22, 2011 at 10:16 pm #

    I agree Chase, very nice post :)

  30. Kelly November 23, 2011 at 2:35 am #

    hi chase. the proliferation of cameras = more people shooting = more images = more art. there are already masterpieces tucked away on phones where they never will be seen or appreciated, mainly because the person taking the image doesn’t recognize the brilliance of their work or just has other priorities. sometimes their shooting ratio might be 5000;1. but that doesn’t diminish the image itself. in the future, lost, priceless canvases will not be pulled from a farmhouse attic but instead come from a discarded relic phone from the year 2011.
    enjoy HK. I love that city.

  31. Carl D November 23, 2011 at 10:34 am #

    Hi Chase

    I’m a fan of your work, and your blog in particular; but this post seems, to me, to be, not so well thought through (much like an iphone snap). I posted a lengthier response on my blog, but here’s a snipped:

    ““veins of gold”? Gold has value because it’s rare. And because it’s durable. If gold were produced quite as readily as iphone “pics” seem to be, and had a similar lifespan of any digital file, it wouldn’t cost eighteen hundred dollars an ounce right now. I’d suggest a better chemical analogy might be carbon dioxide. CO2 seems to be pretty prevalent right now, becoming ever more so, and, contrary to what the s(k)eptics tell ya, it’s not enriching our world.”

    The blog is here:
    http://www.skolaiimages.com/journal/2011/11/23/photographs-make-us-richer/

    I hope it’s Ok to post a link here. I just feel a little disappointed that an artist like yourself would make some of the statements you did. I’d hope you have more respect for photography than that.

    Cheers

    Carl

  32. juan November 23, 2011 at 2:09 pm #

    Totally agree.

    In fact, I would love to make everyone take better pictures with their iphones o whatever they have.

    That would be GRAND! See more people take better pictures.

    Dont you as a photographer enjoy seeing your pictures and others’?
    Wouldnt it be great to have MILLIONS of AWESOME pictures to look at?

  33. Matthew Momberger November 23, 2011 at 2:15 pm #

    Your anger has inspired me. Thanks for it. Great post

  34. Shannon Rosan November 23, 2011 at 5:18 pm #

    Absolutely love this post. Thank you for countering the snobby outlook that just because a photo was taken with a particular camera, makes it less valuable. I agree with another commenter that the best camera…is the one that you have with you.

  35. Grant Freer November 24, 2011 at 3:51 am #

    Great post. I can remember as a young boy seeing the polaroid for the first time and thinking that it was simply the coolest thing my eyes had seen. Nowadays though, we take technology for granted. What doesnt change though is that an image (regardless of what device it is taken on) becomes a recollection of a snapshot in time. Whether we use cameras in our daily professional lives or as a pastime or hobby makes no difference. As a real estate agent I use a camera that shows off my listing in the best possible way, but as a father and husband I simply want to be able to have the visual reminder of what prompted the click in the first place.

  36. David Simonton November 24, 2011 at 8:49 am #

    . . . swimming in, floating in, luxuriating in . . .

    more, please

  37. Michael November 24, 2011 at 10:26 am #

    Hi Chase and blog readers,

    The problem today in that for something to be classed as having any value is has to be seen to have a monetary value attached to it, not a sentimental or personal value. Sure there are millions of images being produced every minute of every day that doesn’t mean to say that to the owner/make they have no value or potential value.

    A large advertising company here in Germany (who name slips my memory) put and add in the local papers several years ago asking Joe Public to send in his or hers snap shots of there lives for a new campaign, for each image used for the campaign the owners were invited to the launch of the campaign at a very nice hotel were they each received a small payment, the campaign ran for a full year and some around a million images were used I believe.

    WHO SAID SNAP SHOTS HAVE NO VALUE!

    • Josh November 24, 2011 at 3:27 pm #

      It’s just anecdotal story. One company doesn’t make snapshots valuable. Also, there is a reason it was “several years ago”. Snapshots were more private back then.

      Imagine this little metaphor – if you were an ornithologist, would you be interested in watching pigeons? I guess not. You’d be interested in something more unique, beautiful and unusual.

      Snapshots are just too easy, and if something is easy to do by anyone, it’s as valuable as the brown stuff that comes out of everyone’s digestive system.

  38. Josh November 24, 2011 at 3:19 pm #

    Snapshots are plainly boring. If something is commonplace, it looses the value by default. Any efforts to defend the contrary position are futile – when supply is greater than demand, the value has to drop or be non-existent. If anyone is capable of producing equally boring snapshot what is the point of assigning any value to it? We’ve seen it all, move on.

  39. Rohn Engh November 27, 2011 at 9:11 pm #

    “We’re Not Drowning In Photography, We’re Getting Rich.”
    The first half sounds correct, –but getting rich? know any rich photographers?

  40. Dan November 28, 2011 at 12:21 pm #

    The value of an image depends on the viewer, and most often their relationship with the image. The gold of always having a camera with you, is it allowing you to record history and share it with others. Being able to capture something that you have never seen or thought of before. This could be the image itself or something to fuel desire to create a better image in the future.

    As we judge images based on the feelings they give us above all else. I would think even the idea of stock photography pulling these images taken of real moments that have captured real emotion and truthful content, could hold more value then images created in a staged environment. What better way to capture lifestyle images then of someone really living that lifestyle.

    I would say the real rich vs poor value comes at the price of experience and human interaction. We will have a rich historical record, but we are killing the experience. Do we need a thousand crappy photos for a band 200 feet away during a dark concert? That is annoying and distracting and I’m sure the photos hold nothing I can relate to. But when we stop helping people so we can take photos of their suffering … that is when an image truly has no value.

  41. DeepUltra December 1, 2011 at 9:28 am #

    APE has a very ‘Black’ view. Chasejarvis has a very ‘White’. In reality this issue is 50% gray. Don’t you lot know that nothing is ever really ‘Black’ or ‘White’ Everything has it’s advantages and disadvantages. You don’t all have to take sides. I choose to sit on the fence!

  42. Kasia December 6, 2011 at 10:48 am #

    Hello Chase,

    I wish there were more people thinking like you, at least here in Paris, France. I am a self-taught photographer and I am constantly attacked by “older” settled pros with the same argument: technique. So just because I didn’t spend thousands of bucks on a Art School should mean that my pictures ain’t worth anything (not to mention personal insults). Sure I have still plenty of things to learn but, hey, that’s what’s so great about it. Discovering new things every day. Challenging yourself constantly because you know there is always a ‘next’ level.

  43. jonathan December 12, 2011 at 5:42 pm #

    Photography is about capturing a moment a thought. Its where a person takes out a camera and presses a button toimprint light onto a sensor/film. It doesnt matter what item does this as long as theres a end product. Its only when we talk about art that qulity (grain/noise/vignetting) doesnt matter, however with commercial its the key. But yet again the brand means nothing.
    Im a musician aswell as a amatuer photographer, and someone gave me a piece of advice that will stay pwith me forever: Doesn’t matter what make of instrument you can use it inside out.
    I feel as though this aplies to everything.

    I get told when i see other photographers what camera do you have and there shocked because its either my phone, my d3100 or my nikon fg ( which i used the lenses on the dslr) and just because i havent had any courses doesnt mean i dont know my tools and what image im after.

  44. V8 December 16, 2011 at 12:38 pm #

    Photography is everywhere and always be, magazines, billboards, internet… Anybody who wants to sell any kind of product must have picture of it taken by professional.

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    Sentimental Value: Sure, no one likes their own garbage more then themselves…and their 200+ Facebook “Friends”

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    I use iphone to take photos on instagram etc.. but I feel it’s made me lose connection with my DSLR camera and I haven’t been really photographing in a technical way anymore because of my phone.. I’m not too much of a fan of these camera phones but they are definitely handy when you’re in the moment (that decisive moment some photographers might say haha)
    but really I wouldn’t call it photography? you’re not choosing your settings regarding shutter speeds etc it’s just all done automatically, the most you can do is select flash or a HDR option and then add a filter.. it’s lazy and makes the art easily done by amateurs.
    The only way you’ll know a photo from a phone is taken by someone with an eye for photography is if it’s composed in a good way. other than that it’s not my cup of tea to be calling it “Photography”
    DSLR or 35mm Film all the way!

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