Monday, February 27, 2012

On Obsolescence

As modern people in a modern world, we are in a never ending spell of constant reinvention, advancement, and "improvement." Driven by consumerism, the majority of the world lionizes technology as the demonstrable factor of "goodness." New equates to "better." In the constant one-upping of competitors, products are churned out to correct perceived "shortcomings", thus inevitably rendering previous versions obsolete.  

Knowing full well that art always comes after invented technology, I am wary of photography's expansion into realms that ultimately detract from the art itself. The potential of new technology in digital photography and editing software is always remarkable, but doesn't highlight one fact: It doesn't matter what you use, but how you use it. A picture will never be as good, even through edits and pixel-crushing, as its first moments of creation. 

As Alec Sloth evokes, "...The medium never settles. Each year there is a better camera to buy and new software to download. The user never has time to become comfortable with the tool. Consequently too much of the work is merely about the technology. The HDR and QTVR fads are good examples. Instead of focusing on the subject, users obsess over RAW conversion, Photoshop plug-ins, and on and on. For good work to develop the technology needs to become as stable and functional as a typewriter."

Choose and love what you can get your hands on. Learn it inside out. Improve only when you feel your art compels you to.

1 comment:

  1. I can't agree more. Lovely thoughts. Thanks for sharing.