Tuesday, November 29, 2005

An Era of Chaos

Lenswork is a niche Black and White Art photography magazine. Instead of the now predominant gritty, sexy models found on most publications, Lenswork focuses on well-crafted black and white photographs, usually of landscapes and other worthy subjects. Still I started to listen to the audio blog by the editor and publisher, Brooks Jensen and it has been very intellectually engaging. He really has an insight into not just the world of photography, but also how the real world affects the practice of photography today.

One of his blogs focuses on how we now live in a niche world. Unlike the past where there were a handful of major television channels, we now have many television channels catering to the tastes of a wide group of people. There is no major movement in anything nowadays. The market is fragmented. The technology that we have is changing daily, enabling us to recall so many different types of media, through time and genres... You get the point.

What does that mean for photography, or any form of art for that matter? It means that it is impossible to be as famous as Picasso, Henri-Cartier Bresson or the Beatles. It is almost impossible to be one of the 'Greats' anymore, for there are too many differing viewpoints.

In general what this means is that if you want to be rich, you gotta be a businessman like Donald Trump. If you want to be famous, be a politician in a large country. If you really, really want to do photography, do it for love, be passionate about it. We will all be lucky just to survive doing our jobs anyway, so it might as well be something that blows us away. For example, the photographers amongst you will be aware of who Geoff Ang is. But when I told non-photography friends about the course that I was on with Geoff, they just went "Geoff who?"

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