The Future of Photography

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I'm a photographer. I walk about capturing everyday life, shows, fashion shoots, concerts etc. I get flown

from city to city drunk off exhaustion with my hands aching from laborious hours of photoshopping and tearing

down studio set-ups. As I gallivant around taking photos, I sometimes think about how I got into this business

and how much its influenced and changed my life.... I think of what Walkers Evans said: “After awhile, a young

man stops, a young women stops looking at art and goes into life”.

Photography has come a long way since the first photograph. The first permanent photo was taken in

1826 by Nicéphore Niépce and entitled: “View from the window at Le Gras”. The black and white photo

required an 8 hour exposure. It would be another 35 years later in 1861 before the first color photograph was

taken. Since that first fuzzy photograph taken almost 186 years ago, more than 3.5 trillion photos have been

taken. Over the last two hundred years, there have been countless advancements in the photographic process,

with countless movements and styles that followed thereafter. Yet, photography has always been considered an

outsider when it comes to modern art. Its falls in this gray area amongst both collectors and admirers of the

medium itself. However, through all its manifestations, photography has remained an important part of our

visual landscape. If anything, the digital age has offered a new way to bring life to images that previously existed

only in their imaginations.

In the age of Instagram, Pheed, Facebook, and smartphones, that number seems to only be multiplying at

an exponential rate. In todays digitalized world, it seems anyone can be an artist or creative genius. Add a filter

to your cluttered concert photo or big night out and the image suddenly transforms into a nostalgic, moody scene

straight out of Rolling Stone. I've been there and have fall victim to it myself on more then one occasion. Is this

what art in the 21st century has become – a series of filters and hashtags? I believe there is no definitive right

answer. Yes, advancements in technology have allowed us as creatives to access, distribute, view, and show

our work to a larger audience – re-defining what the medium has come to evoke both artistically and

commercially.

The democratization and manipulation of photography via digital cameras and computers — is

compelling. It's true that flat photographs in newspapers and magazines used to be the tools with which we

viewed the world around us. As each day passes, our view gets richer and more sophisticated thanks to

digital technologies. I personally don't see digitization as demonization; I don't think that the risks of

photographic deception made possible by computers outweigh the infinite possibilities new technologies open

up.

Enter phoneography. Firstly, when I refer to phoneography as being the future of photography, I’m not

talking about DSLRs and photography classes and degrees being completely obliterated. But I do mean

phoneography could be a legit and trusted trend in the design community. It has the potential to be trusted

enough for people to feel comfortable doing it outside of a hobby, but using it as a legitimate competitor or

alternative to those that know how to work a really good camera.

On March of 2012, The New York times used a portrait of New York Yankees baseball player

Alex Rodriguez taken with an instagram account. It was if a time bomb went off in the photography world.

Many thought it was the death nail. this isn’t the end of photography, it’s the renaissance. More people are taking

photos today than ever before – snapping and sharing moments from every day life to documenting world

changing events. Professional gear is becoming easier to use, and amateur gear like phones and point-and-shoots

are becoming more professional in quality.

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