The Future of Technology and the Art of Photography

As technology in photography continues to evolve at a rapid pace, many photographers find themselves grappling with the implications of these advancements. While some embrace the new tools and possibilities, others express concerns about the potential impact on the art form itself. 

Coming to you from Steve Perry, this insightful video explores the ongoing debate surrounding technology's role in photography. Perry acknowledges the recurring pattern of resistance that emerges with each new technological leap, from autofocus to digital imaging. He argues that this resistance often stems from a fear of change and a perceived threat to the skills that photographers have honed over the years. However, Perry emphasizes that embracing technology can actually enhance creativity and open up new avenues for artistic expression.

Perry highlights how advancements in camera technology have raised the bar for what is considered a great image. Shots that were once technically challenging are now achievable with ease, thanks to features like subject detection, artificial intelligence, and advanced autofocus. This shift requires photographers to focus more on the artistic aspects of their work, such as composition, storytelling, and emotional connection with the viewer. By mastering the technology, photographers can free themselves from technical limitations and explore new creative possibilities.

One of the key points that Perry makes is that technology should be seen as a tool to enhance, rather than replace, the photographer's vision. He encourages photographers to view each advancement as an opportunity to shift their cognitive energy from technical details to artistic expression. Instead of worrying about camera settings, photographers can focus on capturing the essence of their subject, creating a compelling narrative, and evoking emotions in the viewer. This shift in focus allows photographers to elevate their work beyond mere documentation and into the realm of art. Check out the video above for the full rundown from Perry.

Alex Cooke's picture

Alex Cooke is a Cleveland-based portrait, events, and landscape photographer. He holds an M.S. in Applied Mathematics and a doctorate in Music Composition. He is also an avid equestrian.

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Technology is probably not destroying photography, but it's certainly having a significant impact on the photography business. How many stock photographers do you know making a living? Every person with a cell phone is now a photographer, and the shear volume of images has brought the price of a stock image down to virtually nothing. Pick your genre. Technology enables about anyone the opportunity to make better pictures, but with that comes greater competition for the professional photographer.

That said, nobody among my customers has ever asked me how I made a picture, or my brand of camera, or whether it took me ten minutes or ten hours to produce the image. All that matters is whether it meets their needs and how much it costs. And to the extent that I can create unique images using my imagination, technology is nothing more than a tool to get from a thought to a picture, no matter how primitive or advanced it is.

LOL this is funny. Everybody with a phone thinks they are a photographer. Often on trips I see people taking terrible photos of themselves and I love to offer to take a picture of them with their camera or phone. The reactions are always amazement and joy. Sometimes they ask how did you do that with my camera/phone? I love people taking photos and sharing them but rarely do they know how to take a good photo or have they taken a moment to think of how to compose the scene.

When people want to see the photos I have just taken the often repeated reaction I hear is
"Wow! I have to get a camera like yours." How incredibly rude and stupid this is. And I have heard it so often it's shocking to me. I find this casual notion represents the jaded stupidity of people to think all of the experience and study of the art is contained in the camera and with this camera they can produce the same results. I often tell them "the camera is just a tool like a hammer. It's how you use it that matters." Would you really imagine that with a hammer and chisel you could create a sculpture? Well, apparently most people do...