At a recent get-together, a friend of mine told me, “I want you to photograph my sons’ Bar Mitzvahs!” That’s great! Of course, those events will be taking place in 2021 and 2023, respectively. Hey, nothing like booking early and, as a business person, it is always good to know you have work lined up. It got me thinking though, what will photography be like a decade from now. I’ve been shooting professionally for over 10 years now, and there have been significant changes in the way people take and share photographs.
My first digital camera was one of these bad boys, a Sony Mavica CD1000:
It was heavy, slow, and included a built in mini-CD burner to store the whopping 2 megapixel images in the days before high-capacity storage cards. But you know what? It took great pictures – as long as what you were photographing was sitting still. Like I said, it was slow.
Today, everyone has a digital camera in their phone and we share pictures on countless social media and sharing sites. What will things be like in 10 years? Well, technology like that introduced in the Lytro Field Camera intrigues us with the possibility of ‘re-focusing’ images after we take them. Who knows, maybe in 10 years I will be photographing three dimensional holograms with a camera built into my Google Glasses and have them automatically uploaded for the world to see. But then again, when I was a kid, I was promised a jet pack and a flying car in the world of the future. I am still waiting for that jet pack…
Regardless of what changes in technology occur, there is one element that remains the same – the photographer – the person who chooses what instrument, how and when to ‘make’ the picture. Ansel Adams famously said, and I have seen it quoted in numerous places recently, ““The single most important component of a camera is the twelve inches behind it.” Quite true, but you’re thinking, “What about in the future when the robots take over and they are the ones taking all the pictures?” Well, I leave you with my personal favorite quote by Adams:
“You don’t make a photograph just with a camera. You bring to the act of photography all the pictures you have seen, the books you have read, the music you have heard, the people you have loved.”
That is how I think of my job as a photographer – so bring on the future and whatever technological marvels it holds. And with that, I bid you good day!