Never before has photography been so accessible for so many people. We are in the middle of a photographic revolution where photography has been democratized and everyone is a photographer in their own right. In the past photography was limited by cost, technical expertise, limitations, and portability of equipment. Today all, or at least most of us, carry a camera with us all the time on our phones. We are also able to share our images in a way unimaginable twenty years ago, there are millions of uploads onto photo sharing websites every day and photography has become an integral part of our dialogue and communication. As a baby takes it’s first steps, for example, it’s possible to take images on a phone or mobile device, briefly edit them and upload them onto a social sharing platform like Facebook or Instagram and for all friends and family to see within moments! This has revolutionized the way news is reported, how we communicate with each other and record our lives in a way that our parents wouldn’t have even imagined when they were young.
Yet despite this plethora of technology and accessibility to fantastic technology do the images being produced still have meaning and are they able to communicate their message? One could argue that all images have some intrinsic worth in that that they record a unique moment and have significance to the photographer despite any technical shortcomings? I think it’s probably true to say that the digital revolution has increased the number of photographs in the world but not necessarily the quality. There are now a huge number of photographers, particularly wedding photographers, many more than there were in the past. There are still amazing images being produced and the advances last ten years have certainly allowed the boundaries of image making to be pushed further and further but, as photographers, we are still limited by our technical knowledge and facility in the first instance and the limitations of our imagination, freedom of thinking and creative eye eventually.
This blog is all about how to improve your photography in the digital age. Whilst there will be some discussion about cameras and equipment the main thrust of the information will be about photography styles, finding your own photographic voice and working with the equipment you have rather than constantly striving to have the latest camera upgrade. It’s much cheaper and ultimately much more satisfying to develop your photographic eye and photographic thinking than it is to blow all your savings on the latest 32-megapixel camera body! Of course, the updated equipment will make the job of becoming a good photographer easier it but won’t actually make you a better photographer. A good photographer can make compelling images using any equipment and it can be much more profitable artistically speaking to spend time looking and learning from other photographer’s work than poring over endless equipment reviews and “Pixel Peeping” at test photographs!
Photography can become one of the most satisfying and rewarding of hobbies. It can involve a lifetime of learning and is a great way to challenge your creativity, thinking and view on the world. Some people say that photographers are constantly trying to make sense of the disparate elements around them by organizing and arranging in the frame. If this helps to order and record our lives then so much the better. Photography offers a lifetime of learning and I hope that this blog offers some stepping stones along that journey.