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Author Topic: 4 Industry Insiders on the Future of Photography  (Read 51437 times)

Gulag

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4 Industry Insiders on the Future of Photography
« on: September 02, 2015, 02:32:28 am »

"An estimated 7 trillion photos will be taken this year alone, in addition to all the images taken automatically (surveillance cameras, drones, etc). Until recently, most of this content has gone undiscovered. Over the past few years fantastic advances in computer vision and artificial intelligence have allowed us to understand images like never before. The next few years will bring immense changes in how we discover, sort and authenticate photos, empowering a new generation of photographers, changing the definition of privacy, and offering us an authentic mirror to the world."

http://flavorpill.com/nyc/article/art/4-industry-insiders-on-the-future-of-photography
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"Photography is our exorcism. Primitive society had its masks, bourgeois society its mirrors. We have our images."

Jean Baudrillard

Rob C

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Re: 4 Industry Insiders on the Future of Photography
« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2015, 03:55:09 am »

Sorry, can't follow the thread: it gets frozen by a sales pitch for some bloody social media crap.

Rob

GrahamBy

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Re: 4 Industry Insiders on the Future of Photography
« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2015, 05:47:37 am »

The quote included by the OP reads like complete hokum to me... as does most future punditry. Do we really imagine we're going to unlock the potential of photography by trauling through surveillance videos? Maybe if "we" means the NSA...

However I did agree with the much less hyper Amy:

"but a single image can completely alter your perspective on any given subject. I think this wont change about photography in the next few decades"

Yes. Because FFS, that's what photography is...
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amolitor

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Re: 4 Industry Insiders on the Future of Photography
« Reply #3 on: September 02, 2015, 11:31:58 am »

Photography has always been more than 'the single iconic image'. Well, at any rate the idea of the portfolio showed up fairly early.

In these degenerate times, the 'single iconic image' is dead.

Think of a photographer from 50 years ago, or further. What is your impression of their work? More likely than not, you think of a handful of iconic pictures first. Maybe some books and writing a moment later.

Do the same for a contemporary photographer. Is it still a handful of pictures, or is it a couple of books and/or shows?

That's the point. Single iconic images can't stand out any more because, at least, they are instantly buried in copies. It's only bodies of work that can rise up.
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Rob C

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Re: 4 Industry Insiders on the Future of Photography
« Reply #4 on: September 02, 2015, 03:34:50 pm »

Photography has always been more than 'the single iconic image'. Well, at any rate the idea of the portfolio showed up fairly early.

In these degenerate times, the 'single iconic image' is dead.

Think of a photographer from 50 years ago, or further. What is your impression of their work? More likely than not, you think of a handful of iconic pictures first. Maybe some books and writing a moment later.

Do the same for a contemporary photographer. Is it still a handful of pictures, or is it a couple of books and/or shows?

That's the point. Single iconic images can't stand out any more because, at least, they are instantly buried in copies. It's only bodies of work that can rise up.



I agree regarding older photographers.

I don't think it's quite as clear-cut as that, though. With all photographers of whom I know a little, past or present, it's single images or a very small group of them that comes to mind when I think about the particular snapper's identity, regardless of how familiar I am with their wider oeuvre. It boils down to why they appealed in the first place, and probably the few photographs that strongly tick that box of initial impressions are why one remembers them, and not the rest (so well).

I could write a list of my preferred snappers and the image with which I most strongly associate them, but that would just be my list, not anyone else's.

Rob
« Last Edit: September 02, 2015, 03:37:54 pm by Rob C »
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amolitor

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Re: 4 Industry Insiders on the Future of Photography
« Reply #5 on: September 02, 2015, 04:59:31 pm »

Yeah, everyone's list differs. I'm extrapolating a larger idea from my personal experience.

"Ansel Adams", "Steiglitz", "Robinson" --> I think of a handful of pictures.

"Mann" , "Salgado" --> I think of a couple of books/portfolios

and naturally I assume everyone is like me. I think it's logical, though. Salgado's pictures and stylistic flourishes are widely copied, but the bodies of work are not. Etc.
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Tim Lookingbill

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Re: 4 Industry Insiders on the Future of Photography
« Reply #6 on: September 02, 2015, 06:20:17 pm »

Frankly I find this thread more "Insidery" and more interesting and believable than that linked article.
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David Anderson

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Re: 4 Industry Insiders on the Future of Photography
« Reply #7 on: September 02, 2015, 07:11:17 pm »

The future of photography ?
Getty will give photos away.
Big data Getty copycat start-ups will raise massive amounts of money to give photos away.
Mobile phone companies will invent new, and more exciting ways to give photos away.
Google will give us the most incredible, mind blowing, game changing new platform that gives photos away.
Facebook will implode.

 :D
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Gulag

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Re: 4 Industry Insiders on the Future of Photography
« Reply #8 on: September 03, 2015, 01:58:16 am »

The future of photography is that photographers will become bloggers and robots camera operators.
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"Photography is our exorcism. Primitive society had its masks, bourgeois society its mirrors. We have our images."

Jean Baudrillard

Rob C

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Re: 4 Industry Insiders on the Future of Photography
« Reply #9 on: September 03, 2015, 04:31:14 am »

The future of photography is that photographers will become bloggers and robots camera operators.

I think we are closer to it than many believe.

Decades ago, nobody spoke much about equipment, but many worked in the photographic business; today, many more speak about equipment than will ever find work in photography.

I don't remember hearing of love-affairs with brick walls during the 60s.

Rob

GrahamBy

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Re: 4 Industry Insiders on the Future of Photography
« Reply #10 on: September 04, 2015, 03:26:59 am »


"Ansel Adams", "Steiglitz", "Robinson" --> I think of a handful of pictures.


When I said photography was about individual images, I meant that this is how I interact with photography as an art, whatever that means. An individual image moves me, more or less or not at all.

If it comes to evaluating photographers, sure, it's going to be some representation of the breadth and sustained quality of their work. However, I have the nave view that a piece of art should be appreciated independently of the artistic narrative of its author. Ideally, without even knowing who the author is. It's my definition, others are of course free to choose their own.
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TomFrerichs

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Re: 4 Industry Insiders on the Future of Photography
« Reply #11 on: September 04, 2015, 02:47:10 pm »


... I have the nave view that a piece of art should be appreciated independently of the artistic narrative of its author. Ideally, without even knowing who the author is. ...

+1

I've always thought that the value of a photograph was in how I reacted to it, not in who pressed the shutter.  But then, I still like "Man With the Golden Helmet" even though Rembrandt never painted a brush stroke of it. The valuation dropped along with the de-attribution, but it's still a lovely painting.
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Tim Lookingbill

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Re: 4 Industry Insiders on the Future of Photography
« Reply #12 on: September 04, 2015, 04:07:53 pm »

+1 for both Tom and Graham.

IMO as it stands today technologists have taken over distribution of content as the arbiters of tastemaking in what the public gets see among the trillions of images everyone has no time in culling through. Thin profit margins in new startups has forced a sort of democratization of tastemaking and allowed the public to decide through "viral" feedback what is good or bad art in photography or any other creative outlet and format.

Some (maybe most) of these tastemakers lack the sensitivity to recognize nuance or as the French would say "je ne sais quoi". If the public is not exposed to this level of art by it being buried in the oblivion of a trillion images, they don't get to vote.

It sort of explains why I keep seeing youth liking vinyl records, '70's fashion & culture and wanting to shoot film. They sense this lack of the "undefinable" in current pop culture and resort to nostalgia much like I did reacting to the counterculture of the '60's & '70's longing for the good 'ol days of the '40's & '50's not knowing how bad it really was because I romanticized it from watching re-runs of B&W and Technicolor movies from that era.

But I didn't have access to a trillion movies or images to choose from as it is today. There were tastemakers back then allowing me to see through a small window in the form a 3 channel TV set plus a public television station.

And boy did I miss a lot. I'm 56 and I'm still seeing new stuff that came out 40-80 years ago. I feel I have a lot of catching up to do.
« Last Edit: September 04, 2015, 04:09:42 pm by Tim Lookingbill »
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Rob C

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Re: 4 Industry Insiders on the Future of Photography
« Reply #13 on: September 04, 2015, 05:31:05 pm »

+1 for both Tom and Graham.

IMO as it stands today technologists have taken over distribution of content as the arbiters of tastemaking in what the public gets see among the trillions of images everyone has no time in culling through. Thin profit margins in new startups has forced a sort of democratization of tastemaking and allowed the public to decide through "viral" feedback what is good or bad art in photography or any other creative outlet and format.

Some (maybe most) of these tastemakers lack the sensitivity to recognize nuance or as the French would say "je ne sais quoi". If the public is not exposed to this level of art by it being buried in the oblivion of a trillion images, they don't get to vote.

It sort of explains why I keep seeing youth liking vinyl records, '70's fashion & culture and wanting to shoot film. They sense this lack of the "undefinable" in current pop culture and resort to nostalgia much like I did reacting to the counterculture of the '60's & '70's longing for the good 'ol days of the '40's & '50's not knowing how bad it really was because I romanticized it from watching re-runs of B&W and Technicolor movies from that era.

But I didn't have access to a trillion movies or images to choose from as it is today. There were tastemakers back then allowing me to see through a small window in the form a 3 channel TV set plus a public television station.

And boy did I miss a lot. I'm 56 and I'm still seeing new stuff that came out 40-80 years ago. I feel I have a lot of catching up to do.


But that's the trouble: I was there; and it wasn't.

Of course the war had just ended, there was crap, rubble and desolation all round, and the war years had kicked the fuck out of the cities but not of the people! But the country was different then: it picked itself up and started over. The demolition of so much permitted the building of so much more: you coudn't find anyone to employ! Women were drafted in to do things women had never had to do before. Business boomed, and people began to buy cars, people whose families hadn't even dared dream of owning cars. Many more people got rich or simply better enough off to notice the difference. You were in school, and all the local big employers used to come to the schools at the end of the year to snare the leavers with apprenticeships and even better. It truly was a moment of opportunity.

Music was starting to blossom again, jazz became popular once more, and if you were able to drop down to London you could go to Old Compton Street and visit the 2i's coffee bar; I saw Wee Willie Harris there, he had green hair, in 58 or '59. Punks, eat your silly hearts out: you knew nothing. Pop music, jukeboxes, we had it all, and better yet, in the coffee bars you got American music, where the radio was starved of the real thing courtesy the Musos' Unions...

'55 or '56: Rock Around The Clock burst upon us; Heartbreak Hotel, it was the first and second comings brought together! Shit, by '56, courtesy of the Suez Crisis, even I had wheels!

You didn't romanticise it.

The crap hit the fan years later, when the Brits lost themselves.

Rob

Tim Lookingbill

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Re: 4 Industry Insiders on the Future of Photography
« Reply #14 on: September 04, 2015, 07:51:47 pm »

So everything back then was just like was in the movies, Rob? Movies made back then was what I had to go on as a reference to my perception of the reality of that era.

I still wished I'ld lived back in the '40's & '50's, but that wasn't what I was talking about. But it doesn't matter anyway because you completely missed my main point about the future of photography as the result of information overload and no one patient enough to sort through it all.
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Rob C

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Re: 4 Industry Insiders on the Future of Photography
« Reply #15 on: September 05, 2015, 03:03:33 am »

So everything back then was just like was in the movies, Rob? Movies made back then was what I had to go on as a reference to my perception of the reality of that era.

I still wished I'ld lived back in the '40's & '50's, but that wasn't what I was talking about. But it doesn't matter anyway because you completely missed my main point about the future of photography as the result of information overload and no one patient enough to sort through it all.


Tim, you made several points;  was responding to one.

Rob
« Last Edit: September 07, 2015, 02:18:16 pm by Rob C »
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GrahamBy

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Re: 4 Industry Insiders on the Future of Photography
« Reply #16 on: September 05, 2015, 03:44:22 am »

I think Rob is saying that while nostalgia distorts the past by suppressing the bad bits, the good bits were indeed good.
As opposed to thinking that WW2 was good fun based on McHale's Navy and Hogan's Heroes, my after-school staples on the 60's :-)

Tryng to get back to the original question, it good really be read many different ways: what is the future of photography in (broad definition) art... or in fact even in photojournalism, where one photo of a drowned child has turned Europe upside down in the last few days. You could argue from there that neither the role nor the potential has changed so much since the famous shot of the children running from the Vietnam napalm strike.

Similarly for portraiture, or fashion photography or landscapes. There is still lots of weight given to a single image. Colour is more common than 60 years back, and landscape photos have become physically bigger.

However the stuff about trillions of images is probably what is relevant to photography as a technological industry: how can industry make money by helping people extract "optimal souvenirs" with minimal effort, mental or otherwise: the ultimate expression would be to summon a drone to fly in, capture everything around the clientthat happens in a 15 minute window, then automatically summarize it into a few meaningful images or short animation. Rather like the way my boss, and most politicians, travels with a personal photographer... so the future might be the democratization and automation of the personal photographer.

This would generate the obvious reaction, as some people choose to seek an individual approach that reflects their own sensibility, rather than than of the programmer of their drone. But it will be a niche interest.

Then the extreme will be the processing of surveillance photos, yes, working for the military-paranoia-industrial complex will always be profitable :-(
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Tim Lookingbill

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Re: 4 Industry Insiders on the Future of Photography
« Reply #17 on: September 05, 2015, 01:54:20 pm »

So the future of photography is that there will always be photographs taken, the reasons for which will always be up in the air and difficult to predict.

I am more concerned in their dilution of importance by the public who are mostly interested in their own photographs taken with their mobile devices. So what should be asked about the future of photography is who is going to be looking at them and will their divided attention allow them to appreciate their value.
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GrahamBy

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Re: 4 Industry Insiders on the Future of Photography
« Reply #18 on: September 07, 2015, 03:30:24 am »

So what should be asked about the future of photography is who is going to be looking at them and will their divided attention allow them to appreciate their value.

Yes, I think you may have it.
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