Do you see a future of digital photography? That is quite an extreme question given the digital camera marketing frenzy. Digital photography to me is the best thing ever. But, how does it go forward? This is a complicated question, and it could be loaded.
Film photography was referred to only as “photography” and never as film photography. It was the standard. It has been challenged by digital photography. My question is “Will digital photography be the new standard or will it still be the ugly sister to photography?”
If two things happen, I think it will continue to be the poor cousin of film photography.
1. All digital cameras have to be capable of producing images comparable to those taken with a basic film camera. They must end the digital vs. movie debate. There should be no distinction between the formats. The most expensive cameras in digital are now close to the standard, but point and shot models cannot match their film counterparts. I believe the speed of digital camera development has driven consumers to demand higher quality cameras, despite economic crises. However, true photography involves the SLR. I believe we’re on the path to the same quality standards as film cameras.
2. There is a shift in mindset that quality is superior to quantity. It is almost impossible to remember what it took to take a photograph on film. The quality of photography has been ruined by digital images being taken so quickly. This is evident in the quality images that are submitted to competitions and posted on forums. Digital art can only be improved if we change our mindset and put more thought into photography.
How can we make photography digital? Education and learning are key, according to me. Digital photography has also changed publishing.
Electronic learning is easy and free. It is easy to learn the basics of photography and improve your skills. A diploma or course is not necessary to dramatically improve your photographs. It’s as easy as downloading an eBook or taking an electronic class. Most offer money back guarantees so that there’s little chance of you losing your money. Easy to find, and easy to master. The key to learning photography, not just digital photography, is to be a photographer.
Film photography was seen as an art when it was developed. Much care was given to its execution. This was how film photography was created and evolved. Due to the cost involved, it has remained largely an artistic form. Even the most common people practiced it with care.
Digital photography is quite different. The art form has become simpler, faster and cheaper thanks to digital photography. This is the key to losing technique, lower quality, and diminishing value. This is evident in the many electronic images that still remain on DVDs, memory cards and hard drives. They are not appreciated and have no value.
It’s here that the art and craft of photography can find its place among the chaos of the digital age. Digital is the best thing since sliced toast. It’s up to you to answer the following question: Will it rise to its occasion and become the new artistic form or the vehicle that leads to the demise of a great art?