So, I remember a time when no one cared about photography. It was, maybe the span of a month. It was right before the era of 9/11. I’d say… roughly around the end of summer, 2000.
It seemed like everyone was more interested in how they could benefit from online commerce. We didn’t know the dot-com burst was already in full swing.
We just had the y2k scare and it felt like technology was progressing almost every hour. We were scared of some serial killer that was hitchhiking on trains. Those lucky enough to have a cell phone were already locked into horrible plans that barely had any coverage. People in their mid-twenties (like me) were feeling the economic pinch. Still rocking our 90s gear and listening to the same shit were were listening to in 1997. Good stuff.
I can’t even remember if I even had a camera. I think the last camera I had, I bought in the 90s. It was a panorama disposal camera. I thought it would take cool shots, so I grabbed one before my band went on tour. I ended up getting the worst images I’ve ever taken, but was able to get us all in frame… so that was something?
Anyway, no one cared about photos. There was no social media, so smart phones, no digital consumer cameras. I think Canon released the D30 that year, but I’m too lazy to research that. That was Canon’s first DSLR. It was probably like .7 Megapixels. That’s a lie, I have no idea what MP it was.
So, fast forward to the iPhone era. Quick photos became the norm. It wasn’t “me me me” yet. There weren’t selfies. Just random photos of everyone’s lives because we still weren’t use to the idea that we had a camera on us at all times (smart phones/ironic). If you remember myspace at all, you probably rarely saw photos of the friends you visited on myspace. If they took a trip somewhere, you were lucky to get 1 photo out of it.
Now time warp to now, you get 4 photos every 15 minutes from all people, all apps, all the time. If your post doesn’t have a photo attached to it, it’s not going to do good. If you don’t get enough likes on every post, you have failed at life.
THAT is a HUGE jump from 17 years ago. And that brings me to the point of this post.
As an artist, I am close to being done with photography. Prosumer cameras have reached the level of professionals. Everyone has access to everything you need to create a great photo, but somehow it still takes an artist to pull a good shot… hmmm….
With all the filters and photoshops in the world, you will create shit if you don’t have the eye, ability and drive for it. Thanks to instagram and other photo processing apps, my collection of Land Cameras are stored in a random cardboard box in a dark corner because I’m so sick of that look. A lot of time spent finding, reviving and maintaining my land cameras and all of my other vintage bodies, and now… I can’t even bring myself to look through a viewport. I’m just sick of that look.
I recently found Eddie O’Keefe. This guy has the eye for it. The aesthetic might look like your run-of-the-mill, retro reproducer, but look closer. It’s actually good. Both still and moving, the images are great!
I’m no critic, but like this bird, I know what’s good.
Go see his stuff. Buy me something while you're there.