Is there a future in digital photography? It is quite a radical question considering the digital camera marketing frenzy. Digital photography is, to me, the greatest thing to have ever happened in photography. But, where is it going? This is a complex question and one that can be difficult to answer.
Film photography was always referred to as ‘photography’ and not film photography. It was the norm. The standard was challenged with the advent of digital photography. My question is: “Will digital photography become the norm or will it continue to be the ugly brother of photography?”
Unless two things happen, I believe it will always be the ‘poor brother’ of film photography.
1. All digital cameras should be developed to the same quality as basic film cameras. They must eliminate the debate about digital vs. film. The two formats must be identical. Even though the most expensive digital cameras have reached that level, point and shoot models are not able to compete with film counterparts. I believe consumers expect lower quality cameras to keep up with the rapid pace of technological development, even though there is an economic crisis. While true photography is all about SLRs, I believe that we are now on the right track to achieve the same quality as film cameras.
2. The mindset shift is that quality is more important then quantity. All the effort that was put into making a film photograph has disappeared. Good photography is degraded by the speed at which digital images can be captured. This can be seen in the quality of images submitted to contests, displayed on forums, or posted on blogs. Digital as an art form will only improve if this mindset shifts.
How can this be changed so that digital becomes synonymous with photography Education and learning is the key to my opinion. Digital photography has revolutionized publishing in the same way as it has revolutionized photography.
As an option to paying for education, you can access great learning material in electronic format. It’s easy and inexpensive to learn more about photography and techniques for improvement. You don’t need to take a costly course or get a diploma to improve your images. It is as simple as buying an eBook, or an online course. You can rest assured that you will not be disappointed. It’s easy to find and learn. Learning photography is key, and not only digital photography.
When film photography was created, it was considered an art form and was executed with great care. Film photography was born and developed in this mindset. This, coupled with the associated costs, has kept it largely as an art form. Even the mass practiced it with great care.
It is digital photography that makes it so much more interesting. Digital photography has made the art form more accessible, cheaper, and easier to create. When you combine these three factors with any other aspect of life, it can open the door to lower quality, diminished value, and loss of technique. This can be seen by the unappreciated, valueless electronic images stored on DVDs and memory cards.
It is in this world that photography’s art must find its place, and rise above the chaos of digital. Digital is the greatest invention since sliced bread. Now the question is, will digital rise to the occasion to become the new art or be the culprit for the decline of great art forms?