I suspect I’m a relative newcomer to photography compared to some of you reading this. I remember shooting and developing black and white film in the school darkroom back in the 80’s. To be totally accurate, I was taking photos and my friend was developing them. At the time I didn’t have an SLR because someone had told me they were difficult to use, and they doubted I would be able use one. I believed him and waited another 15 years before buying an SLR camera.
When I finally did purchase an SLR, I found it easy to use and I had worried about nothing. I quickly gave up on the automated mode and began to build my skills with aperture priority. Then the digital revolution happened but I didn’t change my photographic approach. Instead of relying on electronic wizardry, I trusted my own judgement and largely ignored new camera features. That said, I do find myself now relying on tools like the histogram, the moveable focus point and focus peaking because they make photography easier.
Today we have camera phones that can more than outperform the early DSLR’s. These little wonders of technology seem to do everything for you like balancing the light in tricky situations, produce long exposure night photography and can even produce shallow depth of field images. We have reached a point where photography takes much less skill than it did. Or have we?
Personally, I don’t think we have. New technology seems to have levelled the photographic playing field at a higher standard than before. Now a technically good photo is within reach of anyone with a mobile phone. But when you compare this to a photo taken by a skilled photographer who knows how to use their camera, there is no comparison. My personally view is that photography requires skill to master, and I suspect camera manufacturers will give up before they replace the skills of the photographer.
What sparked me sharing my thoughts about this question was an article I read on Fstoppers. See what you think.
Landscape Photography Magazine Free Issue
I’ve mentioned Landscape Photography magazine in the past. It’s one that I’ve subscribed to since issue 2. It has some interesting articles and some of the photography they feature is superb. Something else that I like is that they produce a free monthly version of the magazine with some of the material from the full magazine. You do need to create an account but it’s free and I feel personally well worth doing.
If you want to sign up and view this month’s free issue, use the link below.
Digital to Film?