That's a common misunderstanding. Evolution doesn't lead, evolution follows -- evolution is adaptation to the current circumstances (which may themselves have changed because of other evolutionary adaptations).
Winner takes all does seem to have been a general trend in many fields.
Okay, scrub 'leads' and paste in 'is conduit to' finer things. However you choose to word it, I believed that the evolutionary trend was upwards towards better, in the sense that our lives might improve as direct consequence of those changes... In the case of photography and photographers, I belive it's gone backwards quite rapidly. The work available is vanishing; the standards are different but not, in my mind, better; personal skills are being inexorably replaced by the endless mechanical opportunities of the computer which provide for an infinity of attempts and failures (monkeys, typewriters and William S. come to mind). I thought myself a pretty hot printer in my day; now, I realise that what I did with my eye and moving fingers has been replaced by a mechanoical process with no soul or imagination, just the ability to go on endlesly until that moment of perfectly sterile perfection of not a lot. Hell, even the joy in the picture at the end is vanishing, lost to that sense of depleted personal input.
Actually, I think that the amateur is coming off worse than the professional. For the pro, the constraints of time and money make quicker options attractive propositions, but for his ‘personal’ work - and by extension that of all the true amateurs – the input is not now one just of personal skill and experience, but more of patience. The resulting sadness at the knowledge that pretty much anyone can do it if they keep the computer on for long enough, is surely a constant downer for anyone who knew the old crafts.
No, I seek neither argument nor several rounds of fisticuffs; just making a point that rankles me more than a little. Maybe that’s why I’ve lost so much enthusiasm: it doesn’t seem a worthwhile thing to do these days – you press a button, feed something in and play with some more buttons and a mouse, and there you are: your picture. What fun. Where the excitement and the waiting for that little yellow box? Or that wet roll to dry so you can contact it?
Instead, we have instant gratification married to the knowledge that over ninety per cent of what we shoot dies stillborn, victim to the cheap and easy ride.