Creeping Force of Technology

Started Jul 19, 2007 | Discussions thread
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Walter S Matthews Veteran Member • Posts: 3,311
Creeping Force of Technology

A relatively close friend went out to lunch with me recently and he showed me his latest photos he had taken of his outeoor pool furniture contracts and the photos were pretty good. I have been taking photographs for him now for almost four years but I can expect no more business from him because his Nikon D40x is doing a great job.

For my enitiire relationship with photography, one of the things that has seperated the professional from the rank and file photographer, has been the equipment that the pro uses. Back in the days of only film, there was a real and noricible difference in images that were made on a 6x6, a 6x7 or even a 6x4.5 piece of film from that same image made on 35mm film. The difference was drametic and that difference trenslated into "professional looking images" . I would shoot all the processional and the formals with medium format film and I would usually finish with 35mm at the reception. When the guests would shoot the formals with their point and shoot cameras behind me, I was comfortable that their images were not going to match mine and that the professional look would be carried forward into the quality of the prints.

OK, so today I use the S5 and the 5D. The guests arouind me are now shooting with 10 MP Nikon, Sony, Canon, and Olympus DSLR's and is there still a difference in the image quality?

Rhetorical question I know, but an important one I believe. Although it is rare that a guest will be able to color balance their image and get high quality images that match mine, that differential is now resting on my photoshop, color balancing skill and printing capability and not on any real or significant equipment differential.

Is there still a place for a pro, is there a valid reason to pay me my $200 minimum fee to get me out of the house with my camera?

Over the last year the number of clients who are requesting photographic services for magazine adds has dwindled and I note that many of the old customers are now shooting their own. Why shouldn't they? For under $1,000 they can get a camera that matches mine for resolution and with a little practice they can hit exposure right on and therefore, why do they need me?

They don't.

I'm not saying that the game is over, only that it is currently changing faster than at any time in the past and I think it was Will Rodgers who said something about moving backward by standing still. I believe we have to re-think and re-invent the pohotography business now and we will probably have to do it again six months and on and on and so on.

The masses now are acquiring very capable equipment at an increasingly fast rate and that acquisition is currently affecting all of my business models.

Will I have to get one of the medium format digital cameras to stay competetive?

Sorry for not providing answers but I think the issues are worth discussing.

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