This is going to be a short post because I don’t want to dwell too long on negatives. But I have the desire to express my opinion on this so here goes. First – there’s lots to love about photography, but over the last decade, the photography world has been changing. Some of these changes have not been good for me. I understand not everyone will share my opinion. I’m okay with that. I embrace change and those of you who have followed me for a while know I am flexible. But not all change is good.
1. Photographers have become more focused on buying a camera with out-of-this-world low-light performance than developing a good style, shooting compelling photos or telling real stories with their camera.
2. Camera manufacturers have taken us into the megapixel wars TWICE in the last decade, most recently un-retiring that old marketing gimmick because they ran out of new ideas.
3. Pretty girls who take pictures of themselves and call themselves photographers are more well known in the last decade than Minor White, Paul Strand, Imogen Cunningham, Alfred Stieglitz, Walker Evans or Margaret Bourke-White.
4. Photography has become a commodity. The professional side of the business has been decimated by new business models that have driven prices down so low that lots of photographers have been forced out. When photography wasn’t treated like a commodity, people valued it more. No surprise there.
5. The advent of naked aggression in the form of vicious critiques by anonymous cowards, attacks by trolls and general nasty behavior toward photographers online have driven many people out. It’s too bad because the Internet could have been used by these people to advance themselves. Instead they used it to destroy others.
It’s not too late to turn these trends around, but I don’t see that as my job. I am retiring so it will be up to whoever else is still standing to decide if they want to make this a better world for photography or not. So as not to end on a negative note; next week I’ll post five things I love about photography.
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