Focus on Photography
Photo of the Week "King Tide wave crashing on boulders at Faria County Park" By Bob Crum. Photo data: Canon 7DMKII camera, Tamron 16-300mm lens @57mm. Exposure; ISO 200, aperture f/32, 1/40th second shutter speed.
Photo of the Week "King Tide wave crashing on boulders at Faria County Park" By Bob Crum. Photo data: Canon 7DMKII camera, Tamron 16-300mm lens @57mm. Exposure; ISO 200, aperture f/32, 1/40th second shutter speed.
King Tide My Way
Bob Crum
Bob Crum

Last week I began with the repeated question: "Why do I persevere in promoting the dead medium called photography?" One can presume the question is appropriate, given the increased quality of cellphone cameras to take respectable photographs.

Remember the portrait studios in J.C. Penney, Sears Roebuck and in just about every town in America? All gone except for a few private studios! Besides most professional photo studios going out of business, professional wedding photographers are struggling to survive. To save money, a growing percentage of brides request a relative with a 'camera' to shoot their wedding. Why not, considering the plethora of mediocre photos on Instagram, the population at large is used to so-so photos. Mediocre is becoming the new standard. Also, with the continuing decrease in newspaper subscriptions, the ranks of photojournalists are steadily decreasing.

Photographer Talbert McMullen, says "tastes, attitudes and values are changing as fast as technology. Cheap digital cameras with decent lenses and powerful zooms (and phones with triple cameras) take the worries out of casual photography. Unfortunately, such opportunities give many people the wrong perception of themselves and their abilities. Now they have the DIY attitude: “Why pay someone to do something that I can easily do myself?”

Conversely, the optimistic Phoblographer says, "In my honest opinion, professional photography is far from dead. Instead, I believe professional photography is thriving. Never before have I seen a collective group of people be so excited about the industry they’re working in. Never before have I seen professional photographers be so excited about all of the stunning new things that can be achieved with new cameras and new lens technology. Professional Photography is evolving for sure, but it’s not dying. Not by a long shot." Amen! The same applies to photography enthusiasts!

Remember photo prints? Photographer Tom McDermott concludes: "For now, the pro-studio is all but dead, due to the new national motto, "it'll do". America is all about cheap, equaling mediocrity. The term photograph means "a picture created with/by light". He who controls the way light affects a subject before pushing a button, and the interaction or lack-of, is the photographer, and amateurs armed with the best camera gear will be photographers, but never will they, or their pictures, be of 'professional' standards. As the pros disappear, and the void filled by Best Buy amateurs that charge money, a sad reality will come upon the world in 50 years when there is no real record of families, babies, graduates, weddings, and large family groups that no amateur can capture adequately to create family heirlooms that hang above the fireplaces."

Though it's obvious some forms of photography are no longer viable, there are other forms very much alive. Sports photography for example. Did anyone notice that every Super Bowl photographer was shooting with a dSLR camera? Not one pro shooting with a cellphone! Hmmm. Photography, in many forms, will be performed for decades to come. Count on it!

Photo of the week was made at Faria County Park on the last day of the King Tide, an extremely high tide! I selected this photo because it's an example of what I mentally envisioned as I programmed my 'camera' to achieve the desired result. I wanted to illustrate the power of the water and some blur to illustrate motion. If I had my 4-stop neutral density filter, I could have slowed down the shutter speed further for more motion blur without blowing out the highlights. As it was, I captured the characteristics of the wave as intended, impossible to achieve with, ahem, a cellphone. But you know that, don't you?

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