Mass-produced...art? [Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2004, 9:17 am]
I remember talking in history class last week about manufacturing. It's weird to realize that, during the revolutionary war period, nearly everything was made by hand. Which means everything was different. But then in the early to mid 1800's, people began making guns with interchangeable parts, and mass production started. Now, don't get me wrong - mass production is a great thing. It allows us all to afford products that we ordinarily wouldn't be able to. But somehow I think we've lost something as well.
We also talked about how there seems to be a return to hand-made items, for some people. Maybe we're getting tired of everything looking the same.
And based on my photography class and all the work I've had to do for it, I wonder if digital photography is becoming the "mass production" curse of real photography. Obviously I think digital cameras are great, because I use one myself. It's so convenient to just take a picture and get it instantly. But somehow I wonder if this "quick & easy" method is cheapening photography itself.
I remember something my photography professor said. She said that way back in the 70's, 80's, and before, simply taking and printing a really good picture of something was enough to get you recognition. But nowadays, with the advance of digital photography, people are being bombarded with photos all the time. Now, if we want people to give our pictures a second glance, it's important to make them intricate, or moving, or funny, or to do a good job of organizing the frame. Simply being a really good photographer isn't enough anymore.
Personally I think that's kinda sad. It almost makes me wish I was a photographer in the 50's or 60's instead. Digital photography is a great thing, but I hope it doesn't cheapen the art. I hope people can still recognize the hard work that goes into traditional photography, just like they're beginning to recognize the hard work that goes into actually hand-crafting items rather than simply mass-producing them.
Another thing my prof. said that I really like,
"Real photographs are made, not taken."
That's one thing that traditional photography will always have the upper hand on.
Vitality - Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2009