A Tale of Two Prints

Digital Photography Sucks

Draw Your Own Conclusions

Enlarger Alignment Laser Module

Fine Art Photography

Knowing What You Want

Miss America and Ansel Adams

Painting versus Photography

Popularity is Overrated

Rare and There

The Art of Printing or Not

The Banality of Ink Jet Prints

Useless Idiot


Digital Photography Sucks – December 17, 2007

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.

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.

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 headshots 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.

But as I was perusing the Visions of Rock web site, something Graham Nash said in an audio interview about digital photography 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?

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.