encapsulated in time, the B-movies posters from the 1950s can be comical in today's context. it is a time capsule, and one can enjoy their exaggeration in their bylines. yet, today we are being hit with the same approach to internet "articles". it used to be that blogs were meant for personal pontification and make claims as one would see fit. now they have gone mainstream and there is an impending overriding need to have it go viral by means of trolling. in all cases, these articles lack the heft to make the headline worthy. at least in B-movies, we could be entertained.
the headlines are part of the daily dosage of articles served by Buzzfeed, Upworthy and Petapixel. however, The New Yorker has now come to the same disposition in as far as one of their online articles: Goodbye Cameras by Craig Mod [ link ]. The New Yorker is a magazine with infallible reputation for fact-checking and context. that does not mean agreeing with the articles, but that they carry a certain weight when published. maybe this is not to be the case for their online-only articles. about Mr. Mod's article, one comment summarizes the state of affairs in discussing cameras:
what is unique to the present times is the explosion of camera use, and its rapid evolution in digital capabilities. thus, of course, there is going to be consequences to fad, and what kind of camera performance is required by the masses now involved in taking photos.
a good parallel is to the music industry. in the last decade, the music industry pushed hit-wonders, with very weak albums. consequently, the advent of single-song download purchases brings down albums sales, and the catalog of albums in the rock era become essential to sustain a business that was feeding faddish music and anchoring industry growth on it. likewise, business decisions in the camera business were propelled by the explosion of compact cameras, and the margins of dSLRs that were sought by people beyond the professional user. so then, we have an article like Camera makers are desperately trying to stay a step ahead of smartphones—and failing [ link ], which has a bit more relevance in content to the title, while the use of "desperate" may not be based on any facts.
the fact that the internet can offer more voice to opinions does not mean that the number of people able to write well-opinionated articles has magically increased. this is the same reasoning that applies to photographers: the democratization of cameras does not increase the percent of the population that have an artistic talent for photography, and the internet only amplifies this ratio instead of making it better/easier. it seems that among all the articles, which includes a prognosis for the death of Olympus this year, a well-written piece can be found in The Online Photogrpaher [ link ], authored by Thom Hogan.
people in the market for camera and photography can be spectators to the mechanics of the industry, but we are mainly governed by a simple (and simplified?) dichotomy of photography:
• if you see a photo that you want to take, reach for the most suitable camera and compromise the result because of camera shortcomings; OR,
• if you want to use a camera, then compromise the photos that are possible because not all photos can be taken with a single camera**.
and thus, we just need to be aware of what cameras are being manufactured, when they are available, and how they fit into what we like to do photographically. the trends in photography are of little consequence, because I cannot dictate that, for example, a Micro 4/3rds system be designed for my needs. I am still waiting for a sensibly priced digital camera with a B&W sensor, but I will not get any company to make it for me.
** this second part is what most blogs, including the entry by Mr. Mod, has to offer. he wants social media immediacy? a camera to always have with him? then reach for that mobile device... and the implications are nil for the rest of the world. so then, why make it into an article and/or pontification, if it is just relating an experience.