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RE: Question about lighting...

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  • John Palcewski
    ... When was photography ever divorced from technology? Probably the best prior example was ... What, exactly, happened? Did the professionals lose business?
    Message 1 of 37 , Jan 1, 2004
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      >I can't tell if this email (including all the snipped material) was a rant
      >or a whine, but either way, it misses the essential changes to photography
      >resulting from technology, something that has been going on since it was
      >invented.

      When was photography ever divorced from technology?

      Probably the best prior example was
      >the introduction of the box camera by Kodak. There was a time when all
      >portraits were done by professionals, and they made a good living at it.
      >But the amateur camera allowed people to do their own family and friend
      >snaps, and that's exactly what happened.

      What, exactly, happened? Did the professionals lose business? If so, that
      was the point of the post that elicited this wordy but essentially
      meaningless message.

      I have a
      >wall of old family photos (back to about 1920) and there are only two taken
      >by a professional - both of people too poor to afford a camera. Video also
      >had a huge impact on photography, mostly in the news and documentary
      >fields. The market for skilled professionals in these areas declined with
      >the rise of video and television. It's an ongoing process.

      They were too poor to afford a camera, but had enough money to hire a
      professional? If this is part of the "ongoing process" the market for
      skilled professionals would be increasing, not decreasing.

      >It is true that "any shmo with a digital camera" can now take photos that
      >are useable (often after a fair amount of Photoshop work) for commercial
      >purposes.

      Similarly, any shmo in 1920 with a Kodak box could--with some darkroom
      manipulation, of course--come up with useable commercial photos.

      This is a result of both the photo technology,
      >which especially through the instant feedback of digital photography
      >eliminates one of the professional's biggest traditional advantages -
      >getting the results without that instant feedback - and also of the display
      >technology, which is more often a computer screen or an electronic
      >billboard rather than the printed page or a printed billboard, allowing use
      >of lower quality images.

      Are we talking here of photo technology used by shmos or pros? As for
      instant feedback, professionals still get instant feedback with Polaroid
      backs.

      >However, there is the possibility of a major change in the nature of
      >photography because of this, similar to the change in painting after the
      >introduction of photography. If photography hadn't been invented, there
      >would probably never have been expressionism, abstraction, minimalism in
      >the world of painting as realism would have continued to be the most
      >important focus for painting. Similarly, "fine art" photography (for lack
      >of a better term) may explode as personal expression and new styles become
      >more central as the "recording" aspect of photography rapidly moves to the
      >"amateur" arena.

      Digital represents a major change in the technology of photography, not its
      nature. Fine Art photography will "explode" as soon as the general public
      starts buying more of it. Or maybe it won't exactly explode, it will become
      popular and hence less a Fine Art.


      John Palcewski
      Forio d' Ischia
      http://www.livejournal.com/users/forioscribe

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    • Gregory Stempel
      Les, Unless it s changed, there was a legal definition of professional. One that made a general living from the trade and had at least an attributable gross
      Message 37 of 37 , Jan 1, 2004
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        Les,

        Unless it's changed, there was a legal definition of professional. One that
        made a general living from the trade and had at least an attributable gross
        income of $5000 or more per year.

        I read that somewhere.

        Take care,
        Gregory david Stempel
        www.americanphotojournalist.com
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