The Value of Photography in the Digital Age

Aug 08, 2006

Photo by Muha

Photography has never been a more integral part of our daily lives than it is today. With everyone carrying smartphones, nearly every activity turns into a photo op. 25 years ago ago, people would be shocked at the level to which photography has permeated our lives. So, we’re all photographers now, right? Wrong. Indeed, owning a camera no more makes you a “photographer” than owning a hammer makes you a contractor. There’s always been a difference between taking pictures and creating indelible images and making art—though the distinction has been blurred by the power of digital cameras, the universality of smart phones, and the transformative power of photo editing software. We’ll give you a brief history of digital photography, and show you why technology is no replacement for skill.


A Brief History

The first digital camera was developed by an engineer at Eastman Kodak Company in 1975, though it would still be several decades before the quality of digital challenged that of traditional film. In 1991, Nikon invented the first consumer-ready digital camera. The price was prohibitively high to all except those devoted amateur photographers and photojournalists. As the power of microchips rises exponentially, the power of digital cameras rises as well. As the quality of sensors improves, so does the quality of the digital images they produce. And, as the sophistication of post-production software grows, so too does the ability of the photographer to make even more interesting and sophisticated images.


Technology Can’t Replace Skill

You don’t need a three-thousand-dollar camera to capture images of stunning beauty. In fact, many of today’s leading photographers use cameras that aren’t considered “cutting edge.” The reason is simple: the best camera available isn’t worth a dime if you don’t know how to use it. Photography is about more than pixels; it’s an art form that deals in color, shadows, composition, and choice of subject. Always remember that the best and most powerful computer is not the one in the camera, but the one located in the 5 inches between your ears. Despite the universality of digital cameras, the appetite for superior quality images (artistic quality, that is) is in high demand. The internet has provided a wonderful resource for large quantities of accessible imagery, but truly great photography continues to stand out from the crowd. Whether you’re just looking to develop your artistic eye, or you want to turn your hobby into a source of income, Steinberg Photography can help.


Learning from Steinberg Photography

We offer landscape photography workshops and guided adventures (safaris in Africa, fly fishing trips, etc.) to help you take your craft to the next level. At Steinberg Photography, we also sell coffee table books, calendars, and other products with Jim Steinberg’s professional imagery. If you’d like to take your hobby to new heights, or if you’re just interested in getting together with other amateur photographers, we can help. Visit our homepage for more information.