What’s Next for Still Photography?

One of the only good things about getting older is that I have gained a lot of perspective.

Shooting photograph with an iPad, New Zealand
Shooting photograph with an iPad, New Zealand

I never speculate what the future will hold by limiting it to what’s possible now because………when I began studying photography at Brooks Institute in the early 1970’s,

I never would have imagined:

  • That I would own a personal computer that would change the way I communicated with people and ran my business.
  • There would be the Internet, email and mobile phones.
  • There would be auto-focus cameras and lenses.
  • Cameras would be fully automated – if you choose to use them that way. When I began my career as a photographer, I needed to be a technician, and that meant understanding aperture and shutter speed and a lot of other things that went into making a still image.
  • I would be shooting still images without film.
  • I wouldn’t be limited to 36 frames on a roll of film.
  • I could change the ISO on my camera, as need be.
  • I could change the white balance on my camera, as need be. (No need for different types of film)
  • I wouldn’t need to “get it right” in the camera because I could “fix it in post”.
  • I could see what I shot – right after I shot it, without waiting for the film to come back from the lab or taking Polaroids.
  • There would be data cards and hard drives that are able to store hundreds of thousands of images at affordable prices.
  • I could transmit my images digitally and globally with ease and speed.
  • I could share my portfolio electronically with virtually anyone, anywhere in the world.
  • That still cameras would be able to shoot video.
  • That video cameras would be able to shoot at high resolution with fast shutter speeds – good enough to take still images for frame grabs.
  • My mobile phone would be able to shoot high res still images and video.
  • Magazines and newspapers would publish electronically.
  • I would be able to watch a movie in my own home.  (without being wealthy enough to build a home theater with an analog projector and sound system).  This was before the VCR was invented.
  • That feature movies and TV shows (other than soap operas) would be shot in video.
  • I would be able to make a feature length film without a Hollywood budget and a big crew.
  • I could self-publish and distribute my book or a movie without a publisher or movie studio.
  • My TV would have access to the Internet (what’s the Internet?)
  • The Internet would give birth to “new networks” producing original content.
  • I would be competing and doing business on a global scale  – as a small business owner.

A lot of the things I listed seem commonplace now.  But, I when I first began my career as a photographer, I never would have imagined any of them – not in my wildest dreams.

What do you imagine the future will bring?  There’s one thing for certain, if you limit your imagination to what’s possible now – you probably won’t even come close to what’s in store for the future.

 

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