Thursday, April 29, 2010

What Will Your Photos Mean In the Future? - New Podcast

I am not sure any of us can answer this question. None of us know what the future will hold for the photographic images we capture today. As I mention in the podcast I got to thinking about this with an Ansel Adam's photo I was viewing. This particular image taken almost 80 years ago of San Francisco Golden Gate before the Golden Gate Bridge. I can only imagine he had no idea at the time the future impact his work would have. Just as we don't know how work will be looked at decades from now in a photographic world that has significantly changed with the advent of digital. Not to mention the digital era is only it's toddler stage. Who knows what it will be ten years down the road. Regardless of the medium used to capture images it's safe to say there is likely not going to be another Ansel Adams anytime soon. And by that I mean a photographer that everyone knows by name regardless of whether they are into photography or not. I think of many well known photographers today from Art Wolfe to Peter Lik but even then they are not known on the scale that Adam's is.

I have tested this theory a number of times. When people have come to me that are new into photography (just bought that first DSLR) I get talking to them and throw out some of the names of well known photographers around today. Most of these new photographers haven't clue who these people are, and I was one of them when starting at as well. But I pretty much knew who Ansel Adams was back before taking my first darkroom class in Junior High School.

Ok, getting back onto topic. Another reason I was pondering this topic is the reverse of building of structures that mixes man & nature and alters the landscape to more man than nature. For those that don't know Olympic National Park is about to undertake one of the largest dam removal projects in our nation. Two dams with one built almost 100 years ago will be removed. Almost all the images taken now and in the past will show these places with dams, becoming the opposite of the Adam's image I mentioned. This does give hope that not all historical photos will be of places before structures came and permanently infiltrated the land. It is possible to go in reverse and bring more nature into view. A positive thought for the future.

Ansel Adam's "Golden Gate Before the Bridge, San Francisco, California, 1932"

Olympic National Park - Elwha Ecosystem Changes

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Adrian, you should dedicate one show to the "ethics" of photography: Are there any? what limitations are there? Do photographers owe their audience some degree of truth in making the photograph? Where does the balance lie between being a great photographer, and being great on the computer? Other than pretty lighting, how much more important is composition and message play in the image making process?

All things I've been thinking about in your podcast about what images will mean to people years from now and things I think about as a photographer.

Chris Markes

11:29 PM  

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