I was reading an article about the future of photography and how one can make sense of what is 880 billion images taken this year. Yes, that is correct, you are not seeing inflated numbers.
880,000,000,000 images. I wonder how many of them were selfies? now curiosity just got the best of me, so i looked for the answer. One guess is that 30% of todays photos are selfies. so that means....264,000,000,000 billion images are selfies.
That makes the GLOBAL POPULATION SELFIE per-cap 37.7142. Pavlov would marvel - or cry?
Part of me feels terrible that photojournalists seem to be a dying breed in society today. Then again, the technology makes it easy for anyone to take a picture. The issue is, “what is a good image? Versus a photo? Or a picture?”
Like anything, there are few that truly are gifted with some talent to tell stories with images. Yes, anyone can take a photo, but how many can take or create a great image without any digital manipulation? I would place a large wager that you can give a chimpanzee one of today's digital camera and let him take 1,000,000 images - his probability of getting lucky and taking one good image is rather high.
Something that bothers me about photography today is that there is no end in sight to how many images people will be taking in just a few years 1, 2, 4, 8, 16 trillion images? Is there a moores law for digital images? or do they just apply it to the storage needed to house all of them?
Here is what will happen in within the next 20 years. Robots and artificial intelligence will be needed to sift through the mass of data to “find” great images. The scary part is that there will be algorithms to enhance and create “better than great” images via manipulations. Just look at a current day camera phone of digital camera. They possess an incredible array of settings for pretty much any situation. What I see is tourists walking around with a few thousand-dollar camera set – taking really bad images. With cell phones, we take a whole lot of really bad images.
What I realized today is just how screwed up the information world will soon be. There will be a period where people are terrified of living, as the computers and machines will have the ability to fabricate any storyline they wish.
People will just keep watching, getting more afraid and seeming to narrow their focus. Context will be lost and people want to think less and less and be spoon fed information to fit their palette or lifestyle.
In a sense it is really creepy what can happen if people don't question, "Why?"
But alas, that is probably the same issue that news and other organizations have to deal with. It takes time and money to bring forth good and consistent information. At the moment, I don’t think American society really values truth. Instead, we pile on more hype, bullsh*t, and skew data to help whatever side is helping the cause.
Truth be damned.
I guess that is why when I type this page, my mind goes back to high school, where my friend john and I had access to the photo darkroom few used. You would develop your black and white film (I think that is all they taught) and go take the negative to the enlarger, and make an image. The coolest moment was watching a print come to life on paper in the safe light. you went from loading the film, shooting the image, developing the film, and looking at the negatives to see if one image really was good. printmaking was simply another sort of craft altogether.
Today, your image appears on a small computer monitor right before your eyes. Take a bad picture? No worries…delete, take a few thousand more.
We don’t have to take the time to learn a skill or craft anymore. We just seem to be learning how to push buttons better.
In a sense, we are behaving more like Pavlovian rats, than creative humans. That is the problem with an instant gratification world that is, “Too convenient.”