How photography is changing over time
Over time, the art, and the science of photography has undergone some drastic changes. What is easy to achieve today, was difficult, or not possible at all only a few years ago, both in the way that images are captured, and what can be done with the image itself.
Photography, according to the definition in Wikipedia
Photography is the science, art, application and practice of creating durable images by recording light or other electromagnetic radiation, either electronically by means of an image sensor, or chemically by means of a light-sensitive material such as photographic film.
Photography is changing at a rapid pace.
Photography as we think of it has been around for the last hundred or so years, but has obviously changed dramatically over this time. Photography is today more popular than it has ever been, however, the way most people take their photos has changed.
Once upon a time, (but not actually too far back in time) before the advent of “smart phones”, and digital cameras, if you wanted to take a photograph, you used film cameras, when you had used all the photos on the film roll you then sent the images away for processing, and got your photos back several days later.
In the late 1990’s when digital cameras became commercially available to more or less everyone, people bought them. One of the biggest selling points of digital photography was being instantly able to see the image you had captured (and retake if it wasn’t what you expected).
There was now no more waiting for films to be processed (more expense). No more being tied to the ISO of the film in your camera. No more wondering what your photo’s looked like, digital photography offered instant gratification to photographers.
This rise in popularity of the digital camera, prompted camera manufactures to give us more cameras. They came with higher resolution image sensors, more in-camera editing and shooting features, more control over how we captured the image, and more powerful processing capability.
Camera manufacturers also included the ability to capture digital video in the cameras, making them more versatile to photographers. Digital cameras today range from simple point and shoot ones, to full blown digital SLR cameras. So nowadays there is a camera to suit all tastes and budgets.
Digital photography today.
To see how photography is changing nowadays, if you check out the Flickr blog, and search for top cameras, check the post: Top Cameras and Brands on Flickr in 2015, if you scroll through the post there is a chart near the end showing top “camera brands (used by Flickr members)”. You will need to look at position number 7 before you find a “proper” camera in the top 20 list.
The top 6 “cameras” used on Flickr are all smartphones, and possibly unsurprisingly, all of them are iPhones of one sort or another.
What this trend seems to show is that people today are moving away from “traditional” forms of photography, and moving to what I like to think of as “smartphonography”.
One of the reasons for this is that most people who own a mobile phone carry it with them at all times. Lots of us who have digital cameras of one form or another don’t. So the opportunities to actually capture the moment are there for smartphonographers.
The problem with a smartphone camera, is that it has a small image sensor size, and digital zoom, not optical zoom. So as you saw in the video, image quality can suffer, especially when using the zoom function. Whilst it is true that you will get better quality images using a DSLR camera, the upside to smartphonography is that mobile phones are a lot more portable than a DSLR. So chances are, yours will be with you when the photo presents itself.
For all the ways in which photography is changing, it really doesn’t matter how you take your photos, all that really matters is that you enjoy it. So carry on clicking.