I just read an amusing piece by a tech blogger and self-proclaimed photography expert who worried about an impending demise of the interchangeable lens digital SLR camera. I say “amusing” because the basis for his concern was a recent Wall Street Journal report indicating that DSLR shipments could fall 9% by the end of this year as compared to a year ago. From this, the prognosticator made the cognitive leap that “smartphones are likely the culprit when it comes to the declining fortunes of the DSLR market.”
I was recently reading about American documentary photographer and photojournalist Dorothea Lange and was reminded of one of my favorite quotes, in which she said “The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera.” Afterward, I thought it might be fun to take a look at what other luminaries have said about our craft.
Everyone who loves photography should pick up a copy of the October issue of National Geographic magazine—a special edition devoted to “The Power of Photography” and a celebration of the publication’s 125th Anniversary. Unveiled in October, 1888 as the official journal of the non–profit National Geographic Society, this iconic brand dedicated to funding science and exploration across the globe has inspired countless photographers.
The visual arts world has lost a rare visionary with the recent passing of renowned photographer, educator, essayist and critic Allan Sekula. Acclaimed for his unique, multidisciplinary approach, Sekula devoted his life to writing, photography and film, and encouraging scholars and students to think critically about how the visual arts interact with the social and political realities of our time.
There’s an intriguing rumor making the rounds that, if true, could dramatically alter the way in which photographers interact with wireless devices like smartphones, tablets and laptops. According to Sony Alpha Rumors, a typically reliable source of information regarding future digital imaging technology from Sony, we may soon see the unveiling of a high-quality lens featuring WiFi connectivity, a built-in imaging sensor and its own power source.
Rehabilitation Through Photography (RTP) is an amazing organization, acclaimed for using photography to enhance the lives of autistic children, veterans, the mentally challenged and others who can benefit from a positive influence on their lives. The group recently changed its name to the Josephine Herrick Project, in honor of the founder who in 1941 made a commitment to help WWII veterans overcome the often-debilitating emotional effects of war.
As someone who loves riding vintage bicycles as much as shooting with state-of-the-art cameras (and had a serious crash a year ago to prove it), I was particularly intrigued by a project under development by Chaotic Moon involving an innovative bicycle helmet designed to capture critical imagery during an accident.
Every so often a treasure-trove of previously inaccessible images is made available that makes me want to drop everything and just marvel at the collection. Such was the case with almost a million never-before-seen photographs unveiled one year ago that represent a remarkable visual history of New York City.
Now is the time for all good photographers to set aside their high-tech digital cameras and exotic lenses—at least for a day or two—in preparation for next month’s Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day (WPPD). This thirteenth-annual event occurs on April 28, and everyone is invited to participate.
While we usually devote this column to discussing trends in camera technology, every so often our industry does something special that’s worth a nod—in this case, a program to provide free portraits to the families of those currently serving in the U.S. military. Dubbed “Portraits of Love,” this project was developed by the PhotoImaging Manufacturers and Distributors Association (PMDA) and will be showcased at the upcoming Big Photo Show in Los Angeles.