Sunday, June 16, 2013

Photo City

Sound City is an excellent documentary, that talks among other things about the affect that technology had on the music industry and the way people make music. As a photo enthusiast, I thought about the similarities between making music and taking photos.

Yesterday, I watched Sound City, Dave Grohl's excellent documentary about "sound city", a fabled recording studio that so many of the records I love were recorded there. I really enjoyed it and easily recommend it to any rock fan. Seeing all these great musicians talk about making records, and the essence of music... but I digress.

The movie deals a lot with the Analog vs. Digital in the music world and how the shift to new digital technologies and it's implications on the music industry the way people make music (In both positive and negative way). At some point of the movie, Dave is talking about Trent Reznor, and how he uses the technology available as a  tool, not crutches to lean upon. 

3 great musicians, using technology to make awesome peace of music.

Watching the documentary it made me contemplate on how technology is affecting photography the way I take photographs.

Today is an exciting time for photography, the digital age gives you so much more tools for creative outlet, and Iphone revolution made photography on the go easier than ever before. Documenting every aspect of our every day life is an inseparable part of our lives. Every two minutes, we take more pictures than the whole of humanity in the 1800s. But, as with music, the digital tools should be tools to help you become a better photographer, not crutches to lean upon and skip learning and practicing. Taking a mediocre photo and slapping an Instagram filter does not make you a better photographer (It can, however, get you some likes :) ) 

And the technology is there, so it's very tempting to use it. I catch myself time and time again settling for a "meh" exposure or an incorrect white balance, because I can easily fix it later in Photoshop, or not taking my camera with me 'cause it's just easier to take photos with my phone.

Learning photography today is easier and more accessible than ever before. But if you want to get really good at it also requires you to try harder and not settle for good enough. Getting instant feedback on your photo, being able to take another photo (or as many as you like) was not the case in the old days (My niece could not understand why her Dad's old camera does not have a screen on the back). It required you to think more about every photo and make choices, choices we don't have to make today. Working in the dark room, One could adjust the curves and make some adjustments to a photo, but today you can easily do almost anything you heart desires on your home laptop.

In the end, I can let technology help achieve to image i want, but I shouldn't relay on it  to make a bad photo to begin with, into a good one.  I know I'm guilty of it sometimes. How 'bout you?

Coming back to music, as Trent Reznor says in the movie:
"Now that everyone is empowered with these tools to create stuff, has there been a lot more great shit coming out? Not really. You still have to have something to do with those tools. You should really try to have something to say." 


Post a Comment