on the death of photography


An article on The Guardian that initially seems like an “OH NO KIDS THESE DAYS!” reaction to everyone having a decent phone in their pocket 24/7. I was prepared to read it through, groan, and then ignore it.

Then, this gem from Nick Knight, a fashion photographer:

But doesn't incessant picture-taking, as psychologists argue, make us forget? “That's old rubbish,” says Knight. “Like that old nonsense about how sitting too close to the TV will infuse you with x-rays. My dad went around a lot of the time shooting with a video camera when I was a kid. Now we have lots of great old home videos as a result. So what if someone stands in front of a Matisse and takes a picture to look at on the bus home? I think that's great if they want to.”

Exactly. Sure, someone with a smartphone in their hand isn't going to replace a Photographer. But, so what? People are capturing stuff that means something to them. That's awesome.

As an aside - I went to Mexico last year for my niece's wedding. I was asked to photograph the event, so used a DSLR with fancy lenses to get Photographs. They were OK. But, my favourite photo from the entire set was one I shot with my phone. There's only so much you can do, without staging and lighting, managing the entire event to optimize for photography. But that sounds like the kind of invasive un-presentness that photography snobs whine about with kids these days, and their infernal smartphone contraptions…

Smartphones aren't the death of photography, any more than these were:

IMG 1805IMG 1807

It's less elitist - the barrier to entry has never been lower - but it's still kind of elitist - photography snobs lament that any schmuck can take photos. Neither is a new phenomenon.


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