Year-End Notes

As we come to the end of what could kindly be described as a challenging year, we look forward to lots of new photo developments coming in 2010. What began 170 years ago as a fairly provincial art practiced by a small group of scientists, dabblers, and entrepreneurs has turned into the most democratic of all forms of visual communication, with images made five minutes ago immediately available to a worldwide audience. With expanded bandwidth, an accessible infrastructure, and photographic devices that send images as easily as it once was to make a phone call, there seems to be no end to the changes ahead, and no area where photography cannot go.

New processing systems have started to overcome old concerns about contrast, dynamic range limitations, and working in low light. Photographers can customize their capture medium like film builders of old, and make custom prints that match their vision as if they had hired out the most experienced and expensive lab technician. Images that would have faded and discolored and been lost in time can now be revived and passed onto future generations. Images can be sourced from around the world by typing a few keywords into sophisticated search engines, and organized by their content, or even by intelligent algorithms that “learn” to recognize a face, or the place where the image was made.

It has been our pleasure to explore all this with you in the past year, and years before, through all the developments and changes, and we look forward to doing so in 2010 and beyond. Like everyone else we have faced challenges in the past year, but through your support and the Shutterbug staff’s commitment and energy we have come through those hard times and will continue to bring you the best photographic magazine we can.

That said, I’d like to share some thoughts about where we as a magazine are heading in the coming year. We will continue to test gear that we think will be of interest and use to our readers, and in those tests try to point out not just specifications but highlights that we think might change how you work. We will have a renewed emphasis on technique and creative vision with articles on how to maximize your creative potential. We will continue to cover film, alternative processes, and classic cameras, knowing that just because digital seems dominant it hasn’t stopped other forms of photographic expression. Our contributors will continue to bring you news, reviews, and showcase work by a wide variety of exciting photographers. And we will maintain our editorial focus on those issues and matters of concern to all those who love photography and see it as an expression of what is best in themselves and in the world.

While our “beat” is fairly well-defined, we always work to have each issue bring you something different, challenging, and, if you will, surprising in its scope. Our doors are open for your opinions, ideas, and questions. Check the columns and Q&A sections of the magazine for contact information; you can reach the edit desk via editorial@shutterbug.com. And you can share your opinions, and even images, and get access to every article we’ve published since the turn of the century at: www.shutterbug.com. Our website is an amazing resource that brings you headlines, reviews, and even arcane information available no where else. Our Search box on the homepage will get you started.

As a final note of the year, I join the staff and contributors of Shutterbug in wishing you all the best for the coming year!

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