It is funny seeing the way my two years old twin nephews instinctively start sliding their forefingers across the screen of my phone as soon as they caught me off guard and I leave it somewhere nearby them. It makes me think about how much the world we live in has changed since I was a child. I got my very first mobile phone when I was 18. Can you imagine that happening now? Me neither.
Technology has made photography so quotidian for us these days now that we are all tied to a smartphone. Back in the day though, shooting film was anything but easy. I mean, you really had to know what you were doing not to end up wasting a lot of time and money on it. Simply try and go shoot manual mode with the screen of your digital DSLR covered so you cannot see what’s going on there. Sick, right?
But those skills formerly required to work as a photographer seem to be fading away. I myself have never ever felt the need to use a light meter or develop my own film. And honestly, counting on the electronic viewfinder of my A7II, I find shooting manual mode a joy even with changing natural light conditions. How wonderful life is.
So does that mean things have become easier than ever and anybody can become a good photographer these days?
No fucking way.
Internet is democratising the industry. Turning it upside-down, therefore requiring new sets of skills. Twenty years ago, photographer was the person who owned a very expensive piece of gear and had the knowledge to use it in a technically correct way. Now though, the quality of image you get with pretty inexpensive cameras is astonishing, even comparing with those high end models from not so long ago. And of course I know the value of the high quality equipment, but please tell me, how much sharpness and megapixels do you really need to take a picture that most of times will end up being used on Instagram?
Truth is, your gear no longer makes a big difference in order to stand up over the crowd. Sharing your work is easier than ever. And free. Social networks are shaking the world. Just like the footballer, who isn’t a footballer because of owning the ball but because of the way he plays with it, photography is more than ever all about the eye and creativity of the person who stands behind the camera. It is all about making good art. That is exciting.
And that is, I guess, what this blog will be all about. Time will say though.
Thanks for reading!