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Has Technology Significantly Improved The Quality Of Our Photos?


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#1 livvygrace

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 10:46 AM

I'm a Year 12 Student currently researching this topic.
If you have any thoughts, opinions or statements I'm keen to hear them all!

Consider physical appearence of cameras and their qualities but also editing programs like Photoshop etc.



#2 Bee Jay

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Posted 11 February 2012 - 12:52 PM



How long have we got! Photography has certainly opened up for the 'masses', now almost everyone has atleast a compact or camera phone to capture moments with. Whether or not the general photograher has actually improved, I'm not convinced. I think the way cameras are set up now, they are intended to make it easy for anyone, even those with no real understanding, or indead love for the hobby, to take photos. The results seem to be quite varied. I wouldn't like to say that most people aren't much good, but I think to do well at any subject, you need to atleast understand the basics aspects, and preferably love it as well. I don't see much love for the art of composition among many, most stick it on auto and expect it to do well, and if it doesn't blame the camera.

The 'higher' end of photographers, those who really take time to compose & think of what they are trying to create, I would say, are increasing in number and the standard of their results is quite markedly improving. Much of this is down to the technology itself, be it the camera's increasing performance, or post editing. I do wish more photographers photographed beacuse they feel some contact with the subjects they are taking and took the time to make it a true reflection there & then, rather than the reliance of photoshopping. Having said that, as time goes by, I feel more & more that I am an editor rather than a photographer.

#3 printsnpaints

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 04:21 AM

I think you need to define your terms so you can do proper research. What qualifies as "technology" and what counts as "quality" when it comes to photographs? Obviously every picture requires technology, even down to a pinhole camera. Do you mean digital technology? Then when you define quality, you should restrict yourself to one or two measurements. Is it the resolution of the images, the reproduction of reality, or the artistic aesthetic quality? It's an important distinction. I think we are getting a much larger volume of photos with smartphones being ubiquitous, so there are more images being created, and which increases the number of good images, but also the number of terrible pictures. I don't think the ratio of good-to-bad has changed, but the number of overall pictures has.


#4 livvygrace

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 03:09 AM

Thank you Bee Jay, You're right! These days everyone has some type of compact phone or digital camera which allows them to take photos. They seem to be set up to 'point and shoot' in a quality style for anyone and everyone.
I love how you say you feel more like an editor rather than a photographer! It's an interesting way of thinking, does this mean also that when you take photos, you don't necessarily focus on capturing say a straight horizon line etc because you know you will just fix it up later on anyway?

Also, printsnpaints, you make an EXCELLENT point! Thank you so much, this has given me a few more ideas in refining my research question!But I agree, while it is easier for us to access cameras and take photos, the quality of the photos isnt necessarily asthetically pleasing EVERY time...

#5 Bee Jay

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 06:08 PM

Hi Livvygrace.

To answer your question on how much one concentrates at the the time of capturing the original image, I always try to get as much right at the first time of asking, I'd rather spend the time 'in the field' making sure things are correct, rather than infront of a computer screen later in the evening. Having said this, there are certain improving adjustments that can't be made so well in camera. I shoot RAW most of the time, so some images may require noise reduction say, or the curve of an individual colour may need moving slightly. These things can't all be done at the original moment of capture. I'm afraid to say that I probably have more wonky horizons than before! But I don't worry too much as I know that can be rectified later. I find that I can use the time more for noticing other smaller things, like a yacht entering the picture, or a person that could be placed more evenly in the frame. The end results are generally improved, mostly that's down to the technology freeing my mind up to think about things that I wouldn't have had the time to before.

Cheers, BJ

#6 lvoutlet

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Posted 09 March 2012 - 06:49 AM

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#7 Kate Rose

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Posted 12 March 2012 - 04:08 PM

I'd guess that the proportion of talent in the population, and propensity to work hard enough to get great results, probably stays about the same over time. So, it seems likely that at one time there would've been a bunch of people whose talent outstripped the capability of their cameras. With the decline in cost of great kit, that number of people is probably smaller these days.

As others have said, the definition of quality has probably changed too though. Lots of us are so used to seeing photos with post-processing magic worked on them, that anything which is a "good" shot in terms of framing, composition, concept etc, but hasn't got that almost hyper real look that clever editing gives, seems a bit ordinary by comparison!
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