[pullquote align='left']Gone are the days when photographers only captured images on film that had to be developed in total darkness using myriad toxic chemicals. (And that was just to see if the image was worth the trouble.) Now, not only are images captured and fed back to the viewer in an instant, we can take pictures with our phones, watches and even our eyeglasses. Pretty good ones too. Now everyone is a photographer." - Catherine Alexander Special | Statesman Journal [/pullquote] Recently, in my critical theory class the instructor commented that "photography is at a critical juncture." My ears perked up at this statement. It resonated with me, although I couldn't entirely say why. Certainly being a professional photographer in this era is more challenging than ever. Not only is everyone a photographer (which for the most part I see as a good thing), but making a good exposure is easier than ever. Previously, getting a good photograph took a higher baseline of technical skill. That's not to say technical skill or creative talent is in anyway obsolete...but the bar of skill has been raised.
Looking back at the history of photography does offer some comfort about its future. This is not the first time professionals have been displaced by a changing medium. I only wish I had a crystal ball.
"The first photograph ever taken wasn’t much to look at. Blurry and grainy, the circa 1826 subject was nothing more than an assemblage of buildings and rooftops—all in shades of uninspired gray. But some folks thought this new image-capturing technology had potential. Though naysayers said it would spell the end of portrait painting and hand-drawn illustrations (they were partially correct), photography expanded in popularity until it seemed at least half the inhabitants of the Western world had a Brownie strapped around their necks and every mountain, city street or ivory-skinned beauty was ripe for a snapshot."
- Catherine Alexander Special | Statesman Journal