The Lowering Quality of Photography

Started Sep 16, 2008 | Discussions thread
Jay Gloab Senior Member • Posts: 1,093
Re: How so?

Joe Lavee wrote:

If we are talking about amateurs, you are right again, however, the
pro had to know more than that.


The difference is that you have now, so called (digital) "pros" that
know as much as any beginner amateur and the snap shots that they
produce aren't any better (or as bad) then the average newbie.
It doesn't cease to amaze, me to find out how many, so called "pros",
shoot JPEG and are unable to PP their images, due to luck of
knowledge of how to.
Blown high lights, lack of details in blacks are considered as a
nature act.
They are getting away with it, because the average client is willing
to settle with mediocrity, but the bottom line is that the standard
is way down.

If your argument is that some self-styled "pros" aren't as good as they think they are, well, that's a little different argument than saying the quality of photography overall is down. I suggest that were plenty of poseur professionals in the film days as well who depended on the exposure latitude of film and good lab work to make them look decent.

Getting back to the original poster's point -- while he posted it in an arrogant way, it wasn't invalid. I strongly suspect that the overall quality of photography (this is of course a totally subjective term) today has indeed gone down since the heyday of film, as photography has been "democratized" by the simultaneous rise of digital photography and the internet. Cameras may not be cheaper today than they were 15-20 years ago, but with no developing costs and only printing the images you want, the other costs of photography are way, way down. This has allowed droves of people who don't care about photography as art to not only take zillions of pictures of questionable merit, but dump them into the ever-growing ocean of photos online.

On the other hand, the same factors have enabled a new generation of photographers who do take it seriously but in the film world might have been financially unable to contribute their vision to the world of photography.

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