I came across this photo today when thumbing through my old iPhone 3G pics. I took it a couple years ago and, say what you will, there's something about it that I really love. Finding something like this makes me feel better about not buying an insanely pricey compact camera. There are moments in life when a simple, in the moment push of a button can capture so much more than anything you try to force to happen using a more traditional camera. I know photographers out there would cringe at that statement, but just as life is about the moments and not the clock, photography really should be about the photos and not the camera.
Strange thing to say given past thoughts? Sure. I still feel like there is an ill effect brought on by the democratization of photography, music and other mediums. Mass creative and consumptive availability inevitably means massive cuts in the quality of the art, whether it's music, photography or well, writing. It's positive for the People but somehow marginalizes the art, and in times, debases the populist view of artists and the meaning of art. In its extreme, it's like painting elephants. What do you call their product, but art? What does that mean for true artists of a trade?
Being that I'm not an artist I guess this all just makes me some a sort of flip flopping, sometimes conscientious objector in the war technology is winning over quality and thus, the impact it can have on art. In a purely clinical sense, I know that it's true. For the past decade we've been slipping deeper into a trough of low fidelity. When measured by traditional means our music and photos are dramatically worse than they once were. But when viewed more humanely one can realize the amazing benefits that this digital hiccup has caused. People have never documented the world around them more successfully. People have never had more access to art. I think I'll just need to agree to disagree with myself on the matter and wait for the inevitable and slow trudge back up the hill towards the high fidelity plateau.
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What's going in that picture? Ah, that. Many years ago a good friend started selling his chickens to shops in Chinatown. He invited us along to a new store opening a couple of years ago. Part of the celebration was a huge string of firecrackers. It was a great moment. As you can see in the photo, it was quite the spectacle and caused quite a ruckus. I had no plans on taking photos at the opening of a chicken shop. I didn't plan for the spectacle. So +1 to portable tools, even when they are lo-fi! The debate continues...