How has digital changed the production of photography?

The advent of digital has moved the emphasis away from the type equipment of equipment that you have and how you use it (hardware) towards the software that you use. It has enabled photography to become a ‘real time’ activity with work being created and made available almost immediately. Where this immediacy as become most welcome is probably in the field of ‘news gathering’ where its possible to shoot an image and have it in the paper / on the TV news within minutes of it being taken. It has also made photography much more democratic – everyone is a photographer now because everyone has a camera equipped mobile phone. However, there is a serious ‘downside’ to this – its very easy to place a digital image on the Internet or Social Media but almost impossible to delete or rescind the image. It means that we have to be very careful about what sort of digital footprints we leave behind us, particulary if we are seeking a career in photography.

Probably the greatest change that I have noticed is within the Camera Club environment where there is now a great emphasis on producing the ‘perfect’ image, it has now become routine to shoot an image with the attitude of ‘do it now, fix the mistakes later’ using Lightroom and Photoshop (and the alternatives). For myself, I still prefer to try and make as much of the image ‘In Camera’ as possible, still persisting in using Graduated filters, ND filters and the traditional coloured filters for monochrome work.

There are great advantages to the use of digital but it seems to be as if so much has been lost,  from the thoughtful approach to making an image, to the sometimes arcane knowledge that went with using the film based SLR, although much of this also applies to the DSLR camera.


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