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Monday 23 February 2009

Doom and Gloom

Smokestack and Stormy SkiesI don’t know about you but I’m getting tired of all the doom and gloom surrounding the current economic news these days. Yes we are in for a rough ride. And yes many people are already suffering from job loss or at least reduced incomes. But is the sky really falling? Bad enough it’s February without all the talk about recession or worse - depression.

Speaking of depression, I recently had a conversation with a colleague about the state of photography. We discussed whether it is still viable to make a living behind the camera. I think so. But the recent changes in technology bring very challenging issues to today's professional photographer.

As a stock photographer, I have been frustrated with the common practice of dumping large numbers of quality images on the market at very low prices (often free). Maybe there are just too many people who want to do this for fun. Maybe it's too big to fight. My colleague and I discussed the fact that the way to compete is to rise above the norm. We need to bring the level of our work noticeably higher than the average person with a Digital SLR. Do I solve that with technology alone? Perhaps a 60 Mega Pixel medium format system would help. But how do I raise the level of creativity and thoughtfulness of my images? I think that is really the goal.Toronto Winter SunsetI wonder if this is any different than the changes the world went through with mechanization and the industrial revolution. The change from living with and off the land to a factory/desk/technology/knowledge based economy. No matter how much you loved working with horses and digging your hands into the earth, it was no longer possible to support 80% of the population who wanted to make a living that way.Working the Soil by Horse TeamChange is inevitable. Success at any time in history is gained from anticipating and exploiting the opportunities that change brings.
Saskatchewan Old BuildingPersonally, I still feel optimistic about the future. I still dream about the places Lori and I will go and the images I will create. The world will continue to change and evolve and hopefully, so will I.

So where do you think we are going?

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