Since people began walking about with Daguerreotype cameras in the 1840s photography has been a very accessible and quickly evolving medium.
Photography is a technological medium that constantly changes in two ways, first in how it allows photographers to capture a subject’s image, and second, how those photographers produce that image for viewing. And unlike most of the other creative mediums, photography is now at a place in time where almost anyone can produce very good photographs.
I have been involved with photography as a working photographer, and as a photography teacher, for many years and I am of the opinion that photographers using digital are learning the craft faster than when I was teaching students in what was once a film environment.
Film was less forgiving and learners had to wait to find out if they were successful.
Those of us that were very serious set up cramped little photo labs in bathrooms in order to make prints the same day. And even students enrolled in educational courses often endured lengthy delays for access to the school photo laboratory.
As I think back I am not surprised at how slow progress was from the basics to a reasonable understanding of the craft and art of photography.
Today educating oneself is easy. A photographer only needs to select the subject, compose, release the shutter, and then review the LCD; and if it’s wrong, try again until the image looks good.
Yes indeed, for some there is a follow up in postproduction with balancing, and enhancing the final image to match their artistic vision.
But the immediate reinforcement that digital provides is easier in the learning process of photography than ever before.
Photographers serious about being successful in this medium really only need to take the time to learn how his or her camera works.
That is so much easier than years ago when students were burdened by the complexities of film.
The immediate reinforcement we now have with the LCD is excellent for the learning process, and I think it is mainly that feature, rather than a modern camera’s programmed ability to make a pretty good exposure, that allows photographers continue growth within the medium.
I regularly come in contact with excellent photographers that have become proficient without the years of experience and study that film photography once demanded.
Photography has become so accessible and, in my opinion, a perfect creative medium for those that are comfortable with an artistic technology that is continually transforming itself.
I recall when those of us that wanted to look at inspiring photographs were limited to purchasing or borrowing expensive books published by a few photographers.
Now it is so easy to find images equal to anything ever produced by just browsing the internet. There are photographer forums, online magazines, websites, blogs, and even Facebook, where spectacular photography can be viewed and used as inspiration.
I have been practicing photography and following photographic trends for well over 40 years and have never been happier to be involved in photography than right now.
A week doesn’t go by without some photographer stopping by my shop to show me their photographs, and most are excellent and worth taking the time to view.
I’ll finish this with a motivational quote by my favorite fine art photographer Richard Avedon, who said, “If a day goes by without my doing something related to photography, it’s as though I’ve neglected something essential to my existence, as though I had forgotten to wake up.
These are my thoughts for this week. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Stop by Enman’s Camera at 423 Tranquille Road in Kamloops. Or call (250) 371-3069. I sell an interesting selection of used photographic equipment.