Disturbing trend in photography

June 1st, 2016
Interesting indeed however it is only one man's opinion. It would be interesting to see someone offer an alternative opinion in response.
June 1st, 2016
@creampuff Did you read the letters underneath the articles? As many opinions as people. Not sure I agree with him but I do see what he means and I know digital has made me a lot lazier. Film and processing are expensive. The costs forced me to be more disciplined. Just knowing I can easily post process errors makes me more apt not to worry about them. It was a good article for me to hear.
June 2nd, 2016
i need to think about this... i agree that photography has become easy - and i also agree that this should not be an excuse to avoid learning the craft (if one is studying photography)... but at the end of the day, photography IS a medium of communication (as is art, no?) and different photographers will use it to communicate different ideas... and i may not agree with or be interested in those particular ideas, but that should not diminish the value of the work...

BUT, again, the value of the idea should not excuse shoddy execution...
June 2nd, 2016
As a student of photography I disagree a little One thing we've learned is the basics. There is no P mode or automatic for us , we use manual settings all the way . I do agree that it seems to have become easy to learn but those are in classes that teach basics (or at least what I have found)

The best advice I have received from my tutors is these :

Photograph and edit how you love it, this way your passion shines through more and is more appealing. It also helps with developing your own style and direction

Rules are made to be broken ! (I've had a lot of fun with this lol )

Yes Digital has made post processing so much easier but I do not feel it diminishes the talent of the photographer. While Photography is a medium of communication it is also very much an art form and it is the art from that its turned to that is attracting more and more people.
June 2nd, 2016
I've been thinking about this today also. Photography is what you want to make of it. Like writing cartoons or short stories vs "serious" novels. Or splatter art where artists fling paint on to canvas and call it a "piece" So, if some want to add a lengthy explanation to their work- far be it for me to say that's bad.
I would guess that most "serious" photographers eventually get to the point where they have to learn about ISO, aperture, shutter speed etc if they want to continue to improve and have predictable and results.
Probably, film photographers thought digital photography may have been a disturbing trend also.
June 2nd, 2016
I think the author has some very compelling points about the idea that someone has to "explain" the work rather than letting the work speak for its self. I often use a visual to write a narrative, but in the end, when I submit my photography, I hate even offering a title. I want the photograph to "speak" for its self. He seems to ignore the very venerable art of journalism and photographic journalism--books on the plights of humans, and these books often have a "relationship" between the photograph and that which is written about what is being viewed. But I can say in my own experience with the photography club and critiques, his warnings are very valid. Even the judges get all caught up in the "title" of the work without looking at the merit of the photograph (and by that I mean technical merit).

Now, how to edit the work does not seem to be this author's primary problem--in other words, he's not taking on the digital format. Rather, he's talking about how someone used a photograph for a launching point for discussion. on this point, I would agree! I use my photography this way, but if I did a show, I might have a thematic approach, but my written work would come very, very secondary, unless, of course, I was working on a specific art project (book)-it has to be intentional on all fronts.

I don't think many folks go into P mode, but P mode works really well! I prefer Manual, but I give no thoughts to how one used the settings. The photographer needs to be the one to make those decisions. If the results are mediocre, then they are mediocre--not because of digital trends in the end.
June 2nd, 2016
From the linked article:

>But please give me less words and better pictures!

One of the problems with photography discussions is those who make the effort to lay out what is wrong with photography rarely realize the problem isn't with photography, it's between their ears. However, maybe he does. After all, most Petapixel articles are intentionally either click bait or comment bait.
June 2nd, 2016
Well, I do agree with his final statement, "So it goes."
Art forms change and mutate over time. Not much use getting upset about it. If you prefer more emphasis on the visual, and less on the words, then just go out and make excellent photographs yourself, rather than writing about the decline in photography.

I can visualize artists from the past, decrying the new fangled invention of a machine to capture light, and somehow turn it into am image, turning the art of painting into a mere scientific and soulless exercise in capturing reflected light. So it goes indeed.

And to his point about the narcissism involved in many of the works of graduating MFA's, hasn't that always been true of artists of any genre? What is more arrogant and self centered than spending time putting our vision out there, whether by photography, painting, sculpture film or any other medium and expecting others to spend their time and or money to observe and appreciate our specific view of the world. Is directing a viewer to my intent, by using accompanying words, somehow more reprehensible than doing it by selective focus which forces them to see what I want noticed in a scene rather than the surrounding items or proper?

If you are unhappy with the quality of the photography being produced why not just say that, There is to me no reason that words can't accompany excellent photography as well as lazy photography. As a closing comment, I find it hard to believe that most graduates of photography art programs don't understand ISO, apature etc. If this is true then certainly it is an indictment of the teaching in these programs. I would bet that a large percentage of people posting on this site understand those things so surely someone graduating from a degree granting phot art program should? Or am I being overly optimistic here?
June 3rd, 2016
Ha. Interesting read. I may say no thing :-) I hardly ever use my 'real' camera, just my phone. Automatic all the way, with post processing until you die.

I get his point though, about the quality loss. Kinda true in every aspect of today's art I suppose; photography, painting, architecture, industrial design, theatre, music... Does it mean the phrase 'in the old day everything was better' has some truth in it?

I don't think so, so I don't actually agree. Times change and norms differ. Hard to say which is better, the old or the new. Personally I'm always interested in the 'story behind'. Without that story – a picture on the wall with a label 'no title' and a simple date – leaves you with not much more than; 'technical wonderful', 'perfectly framed', 'brilliant lighting', 'I like it a lot', (more or less like most of the comments at 365). Or the opposite of course.
An artist should always want to tell you a story which, in my opinion, is not possible by hanging a single picture on the wall, that happens appealing and well crafted.
June 3rd, 2016
Being close to his age, I can see where he is coming from. I learned photography from a different era, where the skill of taking a good photograph was praised vs how well you can photoshop it. It was unheard of to drop a moon, a tree, or whatever you want to make a picture better. Your work had to stand on it's own. I do have issue with over processing photos in photoshop to make a photograph and still feel that you should just take a good picture and let reality speak for itself.
February 5th, 2019
The times they are changing... I'm concerned that modern photography is about showing an eye-catchy pic rather than tell a story of a subject. Along with water splash photography, color bomb photography and other colourfull but soulless visual arts, digital photography has become extremely popular among amateurs who don't even know juxtaposition definition. Take a shot somehow, pass it through dozens of filters, masks, and layers, adjust colors and Voila it's ready to be submitted for another photo contest. And it's sad! I believe in those professionals able to create photos with a meaning behind it. If you are of the same opinion please shout out loud.
Write a Reply
Sign up for a free account or Sign in to post a comment.