Look at the relatively short history of photography, and you might get an idea of where we’re heading.
We’ve gone from the joys of film photography into the digital era with its instant feedback and cheaper costs.
The inclusion of computer hardware and software into our cameras has turned us into menu or button driven photographers. To share our images, we must become knowledgeable in the use of computers.
These changes have opened up a new world to those who want to record overseas trips, growing children / grandchildren, and to even produce short clips or videos to document important events in their lives.
Companies known for the quality of their films and cameras jumped onto the digital bandwagon, producing new models every few months. Photographers have now become technicians rather than artists, regularly changing their equipment to the delight of manufacturers! Built-in video capabilities have become fashionable and added to the basic cost of camera bodies.
And if the above was insufficient to confuse the general public of photographers, we now also have access to sophisticated mobile phones with their built-in cameras!
This has a downside. Consider that the majority (perhaps more than 80%?) of all photography comes under the heading of documentation. What about photography as an art form? This is a much more difficult field in which to excel. Very few photographers do it successfully. To some extent this is due to the widespread belief that photography is not an art form. I don’t know why this belief exists but one reason might be the lack of history, a history which is claimed by other forms of art.
Despite this lack, one category of photography – abstracts - has attracted both photographers and the general public interested in artistic expression.
Some examples can be found by reviewing the Gallery / Abstracts.
In attempting to foresee the future of photography lets first consider already existing tools.
Sophisticated, expensive S.L.R. (Single Lens Reflex) camera bodies with a wide variety of quality lens are available and will continue to be so. Aimed at the top of the market, for professional photographers and those with money to spare.
As of now the majority of photographers are moving or will move to the smaller, lighter mirror-less bodies and quality telephoto lens. The choice becomes wider every day and ultimately is one of budget although perhaps to some extent the choice will also depend on the type of subject(s) of interest that attracts the photographer and will therefore dictate the camera / lens combination.
In other words, cameras (and lens) will become smaller, lighter and hopefully cheaper with time. In parallel, the mobile phone with its built-in camera will also continue to provide new features and better optics.
But in our rush to keep up with technology, we have forgotten the most important parameter in the equation! The camera and accessories are merely tools, though they do require knowledge and experience to operate effectively. The final result or outcome, whether it be documentation or art rests with the photographer! The role of the photographer will be the subject of another post.
If you found this article interesting and / or are interested in more information please contact me via my email address: