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Cameras and computers
Historically photography was a highly regarded art form where experts would combine their collected skills in art, design, composition, mechanics, chemistry and a great deal of patience and care to produce single jewels presented and approved by their clientele. Then the revolution of the personal camera allowed the general public to produce tin loads of holiday and party snaps. Grainy, technicoloured sheets of memories that painted the past in strange, muted or vibrant colours, dependent on the type of camera used.
Subsequently the biggest revolution to hit the photographic world was the advent of the digital camera. Interned in many forms from DSLR to camera-phones, it would seem that everyone can now take instant copies of their daily life and send the results around the world’s social network in a fraction of a second.
Digital technology has certainly brought photography to the masses and made it cheaper and easier than ever for people to not only produce images but also to store, edit and share their images in a wide variety of ways.
Photographs and images now play an even more important part than ever in people’s lives as can be witnessed by the incredible popularity of image based social media sites. Social media sites such as Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram are maximising the demand to communicate through images by providing interactive platforms for people to express themselves and interact with friends, family and even the wider world. Much of this is being driven by the increasing availability of smartphone technology which enables people to immediately share images of their life and social activities with ease.
The popularity of image based social media has made it a major influencer particularly with the younger generation with many now claiming to be visual interpreters of images and what they see to give them understanding of the world around them in preference to reading about it.
Rebirth of the professional photographer
Along with this amazing technological advance another side of photography has arisen. Where previously professional photographers had been losing their grip on the populace, there is now an emerging trend for clients to search out the new age professional photographers who are able to take the science of digital images and produce stunning and inspirational works of art using the vast range of tools being developed in this field.
Their art is now produced using their previously honed artistic skills combined with their competence in turning a computer into an artist’s canvas. New and wonderful images are now being presented in previously unknown formats, high density images, that lose none of their focus when projected onto the side of historical buildings, a colour palette that could never be produced using traditional methods, images turned into large oil painting style canvases to be hung proudly over the fireplace.
This is good news for the commercial photography market as the industry has suffered in recent years with many photography firms, particularly the smaller ones, facing financial difficulties. Investment in equipment, facilities and premises can be substantial and many of the smaller firms had to borrow and take on debt in order to operate and survive. When a downturn in trade was experienced it became difficult to maintain their financial commitments and many were forced into bankruptcy. This was not limited to smaller firms and there have been some notable examples of large commercial photographers closing their doors in recent times. An additional problem with the smaller firms was that as many of them were sole traders the owners of the firms became personally liable for the debts and found themselves having to enter into formal debt solutions such as an IVA or register a trust deed in order to resolve their financial difficulties.
It would seem that the increasingly wide range of styles, techniques and outcomes has no end as more and more computer software wizards enter the challenge to expand the range of possibilities. Photo editing software has come a long way in recent years and whilst the features and options to enhance images continues to expand, the important aspect for budding photographers is that most of it has become so much easier to use.
However like most things, it does take some time to familiarise yourself with the new software and to get used to how to it works. The key is to find the software that meets your needs and skills as a photographer as well as one that doesn’t overstretch your computer skills. It is sometimes useful to start with what you want the end product to be and work back to ascertain the range of capabilities of each software package as a method of matching your requirements.
Enjoyment and sharing
We very simply want to communicate our enthusiasm for and the great enjoyment we get from photography and the artistic freedom the latest editing software applications can provide. Keeping up to date with the seemingly continual changes in digital technology and the social media options available and sharing that through our website is also an important part of what we do.