In recent years, photography has become less of a luxury and more of a convenience. With smartphones (or any phone with a camera for that matter), we have a camera in the palm of our hands, that we can take anywhere. As a result, we are taking hundreds of photos and hardly look at them. The question then becomes what meaning does photography give us and how is that going to change?
In my parents’ generation, all they had were film cameras, so when you would take a photo, it may turned out botched, but that’s all they had to capture the moment. I would look at old photos from the 50s, 60s, and 70s where heads were partially cut off and the photo was taken off center. But it was something they had to cherish the time. Today, we take 10-15 photos before we get one that’s “Instagram worthy.”
What about the rest of the photos? I can speak from personal experience, and tell you I have about 1,000 photos on my phone and have only looked at or referred to a select few. The rest just sit there, taking up gigabytes.
Another aspect of photography that has changed is photo editing. Recently, Google announced they are making their Nik Collection photo editing software free. Previously, it was priced at about $150. The collection has specialized software to give users the level of control that was once found in the darkroom.
That being said, we edit on the go all the time, whether it be with apps such as VSCO, Photoshop Express or within an app such as Instagram. Now, anyone can snap and edit an artist-level photograph without needing a desktop application to do so.
Rather than just capturing a moment, photos are a way for further communication and multimedia involvement. They can enhance a tweet, or entice someone to read an article on Facebook. The impact of photos on journalism and promotion is huge. Clients rely on photos to promote their organization or their cause. It’s an easy way to get one’s name out there.
You don’t just have to be a photographer to be a photographer. It’s become something that’s an expected skill to have. And with the abundance of tutorials and information, there is no reason why you shouldn’t be able to take a decent photo.
The future of photography seems rather uncertain. Will desktop apps make a come back like the vinyl record, or will they die off by way of mobile apps? One thing is for certain – we will still have thousand-photo camera rolls.