Well I guess sooner or later I had to make the obligatory rant against digital photography. Of course that assumes using a digital camera can actually be classified as photography. In my mind at least that’s a debatable premise. Digital photography sucks.
That aside, what really confounds me is that the primary reason people rave about digital photography is because it’s easier. Not because it’s better, but because it’s easier. In fact, digital photographers seem to spend an inordinate amount of time arguing that the quality of digital photography is nearly as good as film. Not better mind you, just nearly as good. And their fondest hope is that one day digital photography will actually be better than film.
An Easy Choice
But think about that for a minute. What does it say about a photographer who knowingly chooses an inferior tool simply because it’s easier?
I suppose that’s fine if you’re making homemade porn, shooting Sally’s first birthday, or even head shots to jump start your girlfriend’s acting career. And it’s probably okay if you’re shooting the next print ad for Yoo-hoo and you need a quick turnaround.
A few days ago, I heard something Graham Nash said in an audio interview about digital photography that struck me, and I think it fits in precisely with what I’m trying to say. He said:
In terms of convenience, this new technology is certainly easier for the user … and you can still do it in daylight, looking at your kids, having a cup of tea, watching news on TV.
Really, that’s why you choose digital photography, so you can watch news on TV while you sit on your leather couch and edit your photographs? I mean seriously, that’s the argument you’re making in favor of digital photography?
Nothing Worthwhile is Easy
Excuse me, but who said it was supposed to be easy? Isn’t there some kind of saying out there, something like nothing worthwhile is ever easy?
Why bother with such antiquated notions as craft, and vision, and perseverance? Really, who cares about those things when you can fire off 10,000 shots and then fix them all with a click of a mouse? I guess it should go without saying but I’ll say it anyway. You don’t make art playing with your kids and drinking a cup of tea, and you don’t make art sitting on the couch watching news on TV. Never have. Never will.
Digital photography sucks.
Note: I wrote this post for another website way back in late 2007. He not busy being born is busy dying.