1.03.2009

After Photography

The other day, I was reading a blog post titled After Photography on Chase Jarvis' blog which inspired me to comment.


The posting conveyed the release of a new book by NYU photography professor, Fred Ritchin, titled, After Photography, which explores the democratization and manipulation of photography via digital cameras and computers.

I don't know anything about this book. I've never held it, seen it in the stores, or even read it. But, I see the democratization of photography happening and I have seen ridiculous scenarios involving image manipulation on CSI.

After I blurted out my comment I took pause to consider what I had said and why. I was surprised that most of the previous comments centered around the feeling of infringement photographers felt with talented image manipulators ... PhotoShop'ers.

And the photographers felt put out that Nikon and Canon (as well as others like Apple, Nokia, etc.) dared put easy-to-use cameras in the hands of mere amateurs! They're giving our secrets away! Nobody's gonna want us photographers (present and would-be) to take pictures!

I would have hoped to find someone commenting on an article Chase posted early last month The Secret to Success in Photography reminding others that success is being "Undeniably Good" which would fend off even some of the most fervent amateurs. Or comment on the responsibility that comes with journalistic image making. How much can someone trust you to truthfully depict a newsworthy event? Are you showing an otherwise unknowledgeable public an accurate story with your images or violating the trust they have no choice but to give you, the image-maker?

That's a question of reputation that only you can build for yourself! A thousand amateurs will always be questioned about their integrity because they have no reputation. Build yourself the best you can. Be undeniably good and you won't have to bitch about those damn camera manufacturers and their customers muscling in on your territory.

Then, all we'll have to work on is the photo-editors and photo-buyers hoping they have the integrity we aspire to build for yourselves.

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