Is digital photography real photography?

I have lately heard people saying that digital photography is not real photography. Some also considers Instagram to be bad for photography. I made a video about this. After you have watched the video, read this article that was written by Alfred Stieglitz in 1897. You will find that over hundred years ago the arguments were not that different. 

  

What makes a good photograph?

This is a question that everyone has a different answer. That is natural, because its a matter of taste. There is not a correct answer to this question just because of that. A grandmother might love a photo of her grandchild even though the photo is totally out of focus. For others it is most likely only a crappy photo that is out focus.

The World Press Photo announced the winners last Thursday (12.4.2018). Those photos are certainly good. Canon, one of the sponsors of the competition, made a survey and asked the participants what are the elements of a good photograph. The answers did not surprise me. 

In the linked video I go through those answers. What do you think? Do you agree with the results? Do you agree with me?

Sorry no link to the survey in english. Could not find it.

Can AI replace photographers?

Google Clips is small camera that uses AI to determine when to take pictures and in some cases about what. It is a small camera that can placed almost anywhere and it automatically takes photos of what it considers to be worth a photograph. Of course it does not move and it has to be placed. Clips then decide when to the photo. I understand that it likes movement. So if something moves in front of it, it snaps a photo. It also snaps a photo when a face comes close enough etc. It can recognise the faces that are those ones that are mostly saved on your smartphone from Clips. So it takes more photos of your kids than strangers. I have not used or seen Clip, but that is the basic concept I found out when I read about it. 


By clicking the photo you will get directed to Amazon. It is a affiliate link and if you purchase the item I will get a small commision, but you will have the same price. Image: Amazon.


The interesting question is: Can it replace a photographer? Without seeing the Clips in action I would say no. Even though AI is getting better and better it is not capable of making all the decisions that photographer makes when making photographs, yet. As photographer Ben Long said "The act of photography is the act of expression," (quote from CNN:s article about Clips). So it would be an act of expression of the one that wrote the algorithm, not the photographers.

Even though AI is not near? of getting to be on the level of a experienced photographer, it might be good enough for a common snapper. Clips might be able to take better photos than an average snapper. If placed correctly it can record images that might be good enough from a dinner party for example. Few Clips placed around the table might catch those images that can be used as memories from that party. Most likely it still cannot catch the decisive moment, but on the other hand how many snappers can?

The problem with AI for now is that it can most likely take photos that are taken by the common "rules" of photography. But that is just the start from where a photographer begins to make the image. Very seldom photographs that follow every rule of photography are interesting. The interesting and "a good" photographs are the ones where the "rules" have been broken. There is some creative element in the photograph that the photographer has put in the photo. So far AI cannot do that. But we never know when that is going to happen. Most likely the next step is collabaration between AI and photographers to get better images.

The link to the article from CNN that inspired me to blog about Clips and AI.


disclaimer. The link to Google Clips is a Amazon affiliate link. If you purchase Clips I will get a commision, but the price for you is the same.           

Is Instagram going to be ruined for photographers?

Instagram has been very popular among photographers. It has been a very good place for photographers to be found. Its not one or two stories that I have heard that someone has been found from Instagram. I have also got a couple of assingnments from Instagram. A new client have liked my photos and have given me an assignment.

Instagram HQ, June 11, 2015

Instagram HQ, June 11, 2015

  

Instagram changed their algorithm sometime ago so that the feed you see is not chronical. Instagram has shown pictures that it thinks you will like. That has made some instagrammers accounts less visible. After the change my photos got more likes than before. For me the present algorithm has ben good. But I can understand if your feed is full of pictures of someones breakfast from a week ago, it might be a little odd. 

I can understand that the chronicle timeline is better in many ways. The photos are more current and relevant in many ways. One part of Instagram is telling to your followers where you are right now.

Instagram has listened and they changed the algorithm to be more chronical, but not completely. This might be good news for the brands that use Instagram as their marketing platform.

At the same time Instagram has made possible for the brands to tag items and make Instagram a online store. More about that in Instagrams Business blog. Its very good for the brands, but personally I like to watch great photography.   

What does this mean for photographers? Is Instagram becoming a online store? I dont know but it might. That could be bad news for photographers. It all depends on the algorithm and what Instagram shows you and what it does not. Of course it also matters who we follow. But will photographers be found in instagram or is it going to be just ads? We dont know yet.

It remains to be seen.

...and yes go check out my Instagram

FlipIt!