I have a real love-hate relationship with technology. On one hand, it makes my job as a writer and a photographer that much easier. On the other, the line between professional and amateur is getting blurrier.
In more ways than one, technology is killing the field of photography, just as it did with writing. Everyone with a computer and an opinion can blog and, therefore, have a “relevant” opinion of whatever they want.
Photography has gone down the same route. Anyone with a camera (SLR or point and shoot) can now be a photographer. People can go to sporting events and take crappy photos of players and be satisfied. (I have no issue with above fireworks photo, by the way. If you’ve seen one firework, you’ve seen ‘em all).
What I cannot stand is photos from game that are clearly taken from the upper deck with a zoomed out point and shoot and is cherished as if the photo gods blessed it. Don’t forget the vacation photos of geese or other very common creatures of nature.
What enables the self-made photographers is social media. Those less-than-stellar pictures go on Facebook and get “likes” while my photos sit on a hard drive somewhere waiting to be sold. Some photos I take are for my memories, but typically not. And it’s not as if social media encourages professionals to post.
Facebook, and the new Google+, have fine print that basically gives up the licensing to photos posted on their sites.
That line keeps getting more fuzzy.
I understand the concept behind buying your own SLR and taking pictures, especially at your kids’ games. But don’t be afraid to roll the pro a bone now and then. Odds are my stuff is probably better than yours and like others, I’m doing this as part of my living. Not for shits, giggles and Facebook.
I’m no Ansel Adams or Scott Strazzante or Alex Garica. But for someone who is self-taught and only carrying about a year under his belt, I don’t think I’ve done too bad for myself. Too bad advances in technologies are severely limiting what I can do, how to promote and how to make sales.
More importantly it really limits how much I can post. Seeing how big social networking is nowadays, that puts budding photojournalists and photographers in a predicament.
To post or not to post? That is the question.
Just be sure to read the fine print.
© 2011 Jerry Burnes/Northern Star