The New Photography

eye_2There are a great many ways to interpret ‘New’ in terms of photography. The most common may be to associate the phrase with visual trends or hipster image makers. There are also diehard old guards who insist chemical based imaging is true photography. Anything else is well, something else. There can be nothing new there. That attitude is about as valid and non sequitur as ‘cane makers are the true buggy whip manufacturers’. It’s just hype to satisfy golden age readers. I admit to fitting an aging demographic but not the sentiment.

Another common way to connect ‘New’ with photography is the latest digital camera technology. Huge pixel counts, novel sensor configurations, see in the dark ISO limits. Certainly these are new in the sense that they have not existed in consumer products in the past. They are evolutionary Improvements in current technology not revolutionary in any sense. Not really new. Any school kid or marketing guy can see that stuff a mile away. I’m not sure exactly what new photography is but it is not more of the same.

Sensor makers, camera manufacturers and admen will not determine a new direction for photography. It will be people who use technology in interesting creative ways who push us forward. I know this is just another rehash of the young titans who brought us garage built computers, cell phones and the like. I just believe it will be those sorts of people who define the path. I’m old but still a technologist at heart.

So, what will be the new photography? My guess is that it will be a convergence of technologies we think of as VR. I believe immersive imaging in some form is the new photography. We are currently preoccupied with artificial boundaries between different forms of image presentation such as still, video, immersive and so forth. Once you have sufficient technology you can derive any type of image presentation from the same source material. In the end new photography will be something that allows consumers to capture moments in time with fidelity that closely matches what our eyes perceive as reality.

Celebrating Texas Independence Day

Dancing by the stage
Dancing by the stage
map2These photographs were made in Luckenbach, Texas a few days ago. There were a couple of hundred people on hand that day celebrating Texas Independence. I didn’t know there was a party going on until I got there. It was great fun.

Luckenbach is an excellent place to photograph musicians onstage. You can get in close for some really interesting shots. The crowds there are always eclectic. Generally they are a mix of cowboys, professional types masquerading as bikers and tourists who drift down from Fredricksburg. Everyone hangs out in front of the outdoor stage to drink a few beers and relax. It is a target rich environment for enterprising photographers. Well worth a visit if you are in the Texas Hill Country.

At the bar in hat and duster
At the bar in hat and duster
The bass player
The bass player

Wilderness

Leaning Rock, Grapevine Hills, Big Bend National Park
Leaning Rock, Grapevine Hills, Big Bend National Park
People sometimes seek out wilderness for the demands it makes upon them. For the exercise of personal responsibility it requires. Wild undeveloped places allow us to use our evolutionary gifts.

Most of us live in cities where the natural environment is controlled as much as possible. About the only things uncontrolled are weather and geological processes. Wilderness is out of our control. We encounter wild places at our peril.

Quite large areas of the planet remain as wilderness. That does not mean that any part of the world is truly unknown. Satellites measure and catalog the earth in great detail. Still, in spite of our technologies wilderness exists unmodified by humans.

Being in the wild gives me with a feeling of exhilaration. Some of my earliest memories are of times spent in the mountains with my grandfather. He gave me a great gift of respect for the wild world.

Under Leaning Rock, Grapevine Hills, Big Bend National Park
Under Leaning Rock, Grapevine Hills, Big Bend National Park