In my childhood, photography was the only way ordinary people could save a moment for the future. We had a video camera at home when I went to school, and you could record a couple of hours of material on video tape. A videotape that looked like an audio cassette. You know, a little plastic box with a black tape and two reels inside. Now it’s all become artifacts of antiquity along with music records, disks, floppy disks, audio players and palaroid.
Before the advent of accessible photography, people were drawing reality – artists were the “photographers” of the past. Is it possible to say that with the advent of photography artists lost their meaning? I would say that the aim of artistic representation have changed – it is not without reason that new kinds of paintings have appeared, in which it is difficult to recognize the painted object. Artists are beginning to portray the emotions of what they see, rather than literally copying real images. And really, why draw something that can be photographed much faster?
And now we have entered the era of accessible video – a cell phone today makes an endless number of high-resolution movies, clips can be stored for free on a multitude of platforms. You just upload your vlog to your channel day by day, and gradually from the depths of the Internet your viewers come to you, begin to monitor your life, and even give advice. So why do you need static photos now if video is more interesting to watch and everything is alive, sounds, moves?
Now photography has changed like pictures before – instead of memorable daily life, people create photo pictures and reality is simply recorded on video. And whether you’re a blogger or not, you’re still more likely to shoot a video and even tell something to an imaginary viewer (whether it’s family, friends or an audience on the Internet). Yes, people still take pictures, but their meaning has changed. Just think back to the last time you “printed out” your pics for an album or as a gift. Was it about 10 years ago?
Modern photography is not a physical object of reality, but bits and bytes on a server in online clouds. And the goal of photography is increasingly shifting toward the artistic – to show not what others can see, but to make an image of one’s inner world with the help of framing, light, and post-processing of the original images. The photograph itself ceases to be an individual speaking object of reality, and becomes more and more a part of the composition – it illustrates, complements, conveys emotion.
What perks of photography I see now:
- Fast! It’s still easier and faster to take a photo than it is to take a video. For photography you have to start 1 button 1 time, and for video at least two (the beginning of the video and the end).
- Vivid Moment. You can take one shot and it will convey the whole gamut of emotions of the moment, while a video of the same event can be quite boring and not contain such a dense clot of energy.
- Simple! It’s still easier to take photos than videos. Videos require editing and color correction software, while a photo can have a filter applied to it in a second and it already looks cool.
- You can turn photos into real-world objects, like print them out or put them on clothes. With video, this is not yet possible. So photos can still be donated or sold in the real world.
If you look at how I started my social media and websites 10 years ago, I see what a big role photos played back then. I was literally making photo blogs about my life. Interestingly enough, once I started making vlogs (videos about my life), I pretty much stopped taking pictures. You can tell by the number of photos in my folders over the year – all 10 years I’ve had a steady annual decrease in the number of new photo files.
Last year I came to Israel. If this had happened to me 20 years ago, I would have taken many times as many photos as I do now: I only have about 50 photos, and at the same time I have thousands of video files. I even lost the habit of taking pictures, I immediately turn on the camera in video mode. I’m surprised myself where I got these 50 photos from! I feel like lately I’ve been taking pictures either for documents or video covers.
And really, why take pictures when everyone is watching videos now?