Photography ~ Democratization of An Art Form

A recent article from The Guardian claimed that photography is being destroyed based on a young generation’s exploration with multi-faceted mediums.

On an art & design level, it is always good to push boundaries for one to discover other creative ways to portray images.

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Photo credit: Google.

Catalin Sandu, 26, emerging photograher said, ” I don’t think smartphones are destroying photography, but it is destroying the digital camera that’s for sure. For instance, Samsung has combined their digital camera division with their phones. Yet I would rather participate in an event as the experience must be fully lived but if it’s worth recording it must be experienced live.”

At times, smartphones can appear as the so to speak new camera. However it is with these same smartphones that we are able to capture images instantly. The world is a place of viral communication. Having a digital impact matters most. Especially if you’re in the age bracket of 16-30. Smartphones cater to each of our experiences. There is a desire to let people know what you are doing, like, wearing and where you are. We are the Apple generation.

This constant communication aspect can result positively or negatively regarding safety and psychology. Nan Austin, 40, creative extraordinaire said, “I prefer participating in events to make memories last longer.” Therefore, it can be argued that some people are relying on technology to rememeber events rather than actually participating and taking it all in as part of their experience. This reflects on that phrase live in the moment and it slightly becomes diminshed. The thing is, the millenial generation is living in the moment. Perhaps this is just their way and older generations can’t understand and keep up because when they were growing up, none of this advanced technology existed yet.

British fashion photographer Nick Knight expresses, “What I’m into is visual connection to what I’m taking. People fetishise the technology in photography more than any other medium. The machinery you create your art on is irrelevant.” I have to agree with this. The point is that as a photographer you have a concept to portray to that viewer and if they understand, what difference does the medium make.

Also, it can be said that the process of photography is changing. People need to be able to keep up with the times. There were days when one had to enter the dark room, be surrounded by chemicals to develop the film. Then Kodak invented the digital camera. Clearly here, Kodak wasn’t able to transform their business with the times. Either way soon after, we all moved onto digital SLRs. Now we have smartphones that can take a photo and one can instantly upload it to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, or Pinterest. These social media sites allow a fun sharing process to occur.

Young generations can engage other in a social and entertaining way. And instead of one person setting up the scene and capturing that one magnificent image to get all the credit, to be featured in a magazine, photography becomes a communal experience. Photographers alike can receive admiration and feedback from an entire network. From technological advances and innovation, a photographer can create an audience who then become apart of your following. That support can potentially lead to financial gain and career progress as well. After all, isn’t that what photography is about capturing a moment based on a created experience and enjoying yourself whether for work or as a hobby in life.

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