The early forms of photography involved complicated procedures and cumbersome equipment, from getting the right amount of light needed for a perfect photo, to the printing and washing of the photos.
Today, the rise of smart phones has turned everyone into a photographer and this is having an enormous effect on commercial digital photography.
Smart phones get better and better every few months. Larger sensors, more megapixels, built in processing and effects. It is like having a camera with built in Photoshop enhancements. This has put traditional cameras and photographers at a disadvantage.
This is because the vast majority of cameras are ‘dumb’ devices in the sense that they cannot send and receive data wirelessly. If you want to manipulate and share photographs taken with a traditional digital camera, you’ll need a computer with an internet connection. With a smart phone however, you can take photos, manipulate and share them via Facebook, WhatsApp and other social media in no time at all, on the same platform!
Even in the field of journalism, smart phone photography has seriously enhanced the notion of citizen journalism. Mobile photographers can get close to their subjects and not be recognised as a photographer, allowing them to get more authentic images of people. And more and more, images from smart phones are appearing in online publications and even newspaper stories.
So one wonders what the future holds for our traditional photographers whose livelihood depends on the profession of taking pictures. How will they make a living with the constant evolution of smart phones? Will traditional cameras evolve too or will they become extinct?