I Think Photography is Here to Stay

by | Jul 22, 2021

Today’s Post by Joe Farace

“The Reports of My Death Have Been Greatly Exaggerated”— Mark Twain

Mark Twain reportedly said that in 1897; He died in 1910. In 1839 artist Paul Delaroche, on seeing the Daguerreotype said, “from today, painting is dead!” Please don’t tell all of today’s painters along with the galleries and museums that are exhibiting their work about that one.

We are at a point in photography’s history where some on-line pundits are now saying, “photography is dead.” You see, paradigm shifts are hard for some people to deal with so they make up crap like this. Factoid: While the invention of the automobile would seem to have contributed to the demise of the horse, there are more horses alive today then there were at the time of the civil war.

It’s a paradigm shift aka a fundamental change in approach or underlying assumptions that appears to be a confluence of digital photography and societal changes. We are at a time with millennials are running around snapping selfies and calling it “photography,” while those of us who remember film, see the fleeting images on smartphones as merely pictures of the self-absorbed.

Camera & Imaging Products Association (CIPA) analysis of trends says that “Cameras are for older people.” They claim that the people who are still interested in photography are “typically around the ages of 40-60 or more” and that their children and grandchildren are “far less interested in cameras and prefer to use their smartphones.” But based on my own observations of what must be purely empirical data I want to refute some of that. Or as Groucho Max once observed” what are you gong to be believe? What I tell you or your own eyes.”

My eyes tell me that at many cars show I see many young people with mirrorless cameras and DSLRs, more often than not Canons, making photographs. And then there is the one trend that I’ve written about over the past few years and that is the growing trend of people shooting photographs using film cameras. While this trend might have originally been initiated by hipsters who didn’t want to shoot the same digital cameras as their fathers, this trend seems to be growing with a new ISO 80 black and white film that’s available from Ferrania and with Ektachrome slide film brought back from the dead by Kodak.

Photography is clearly not dead but it is certainly changing as any paradigm does over time and I personally don’t think the dust has settled yet. What’s coming? I don’t know, my Magic 8 Ball says, “Reply hazy try again.”

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