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Food for Thought... IPhones taking over from professional photography???

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Is this alarming, or what!!

 

http://appleinsider.com/articles/13/05/31/chicago-sun-times-axes-all-staff-photographers-offers-reporters-iphoneography-training

 

Have we reached the stage where the facilitation of current technology has dumbed down the general public as to what good photography is all about? I suspect it has to some degree, just like it has in other fields, general journalism is a prime example, but in many other fields as well.

 

I have a neighbour who is now shooting weddings. Previously she thought beautiful sunsets were her thing. She is a lovely lady and so I am using this as an illustration of what is happening in the world of photography, not as a personal criticism. Her clients think her images are wonderful - they are anyting but. Many are out of focus, awfull perspective, and simply not capturing the day as it should be. She is getting plenty of wedding work, using a 60D but alway on Auto. She even borrowed my EX580 flash to handle a recent wedding.

 

I guess this is what many professionals are up against. The dilution off what is a professional approach to such an important occasion.

 

Any views?

 

Ken

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Only a matter of time before a disgruntled couple sue her.....

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Basically I see this as a kind of evolutionary step.

  • newspapers are selling less and less and are desperate to find a way to save their skins so..
  • they fire togs and use more and more imagery from Joe Public and generic rubbish (just one fine example from a local paper in my town - eech!) - a lot of which is trash, but...
  • if they continue on this path, their whole paper will look so damned God-awful, its reputation will be dirt, no-one will want to buy it and they are actually bringing forward their own demise, so...
  • they utilise rapidly improving technology to get better quality pictures from already employed staff (journos)
  • in the short term this seems to make sense

The field of photography is developing at a galloping pace: no-one really knows what is going to happen in a few years time.  But one thing is for sure - in any field, there will always be those with more talent than others.  That talent shows whether Joe Bloggs (John Doe) is consciously aware of it not: I believe that (even if subconsciously) the effect is there.  Papers surviving in their current form is unlikely, and the state of the Western economies ain't looking rosy, but there will always be a recognition of, and a demand for talent.  Where that talent goes, how it produces its work and what tools it uses is a matter for evolution!  We just all have to be ready to adapt as well as we are able.

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Newspapers will always be around while there are political agendas and propaganda to be pushed.

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The Huffington Post recently used some iphone images tweeted from the Daily Mail political editor of the visit to Edinburgh of Nigel Farage.

 

There were some really good images taken (and used in some press) by pro togs but why use these badly lit and composed pics instead? The second one down is just the backs of some people with a police van. You can't even see Farage.

 

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2013/05/16/nigel-farage-edinburgh-ukip-protests-_n_3286646.html

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Speaking locally, in the short span of two years - from 2011 to mid-2013 - I’ve witnessed a dramatic decrease in photographers sent to cover events by our area media - both by local & major outlets.

Because of a long-term project starting 2011, I was covering county events at least several times a week. And I’d see the same largish group of photographers & writers - complete with Press ID passes - sent by several mainly print media, a national mainly online organization, a cable TV news channel, & the occasional major network.

Now, at the same public events that several photographers, plus writers, were covering two years earlier, I see few, if any, press passes, and one or two writers/editors of local papers taking snapshots & notes for their articles, which then run with lots of photos sent by readers.

This scene plays out again & again: A local, or not so local, media outlet contacts me about using a news photo, so I mention a nominal licensing fee, and it chooses to use an awful, free photo, or no photo, instead. Plus, local papers offer stringers covering events a fee that comes to less than minimum wage.

 

And, of course, it's such a thrill to get 'offers' from media outlets to submit one's news photos in contests... for credit....  ;)


By the way, compared to licensing news photos directly (not through agency) to media, I earn more selling prints to families of those in the photos. People are clearly googling their names to locate such images, and photos on my site have prominent watermarks and searchable keywords.

Edited by ann

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Ann, press events, assignments, pros . . . they've all been replaced by crowd sourcing. Things are much the same with writers and even worse with musicians. I'm reminded of a phrase the troops used to say in Vietnam: "There it is." 

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Marshall Mcluhan was right, though now largely forgotten: the medium is the message. We're becoming technologically proficient even as we're becoming visually illiterate. Most people don't know (or care) what a good photograph might look like. They're as happy watching a feature film on an iPhone as they are to go to the cinema, even though the experience is diluted by 95%. They'll watch film in an aspect ration that's all wrong, and appear not to notice.

 

A woman said to me "It's just luck, isn't it?", as I was taking photos today. Even photographic afiocionados buy big, fancy, insanely complex cameras that they're unable to use properly. 'Good enough' is all that's required for a lot of publications now, de-skilling the craft of photography even further. Excellence isn't required, it seems... or appreciated...

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Ed, when you mention "musicians" it brings to mind our area community concert association - which presented stars from nearby Met opera, & world famous musicians, in its heyday.

 

Because of steady decline of subscribers, it's having its last concert at the end of this year - and the same has happened, or is happening, to similar organizations throughout Long Island & beyond. (For a while, I was in charge of publicity until a couple of years ago.)

 

Quite sad, personally, since my mom was one of its founders in 1950's.

 

 

Ann, press events, assignments, pros . . . they've all been replaced by crowd sourcing. Things are much the same with writers and even worse with musicians. I'm reminded of a phrase the troops used to say in Vietnam: "There it is." 

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