Saturday, January 14, 2006
The fish market. Mangalore, India. 2003.Black and White Tri-X film 400 Asa, Leica M6 camera.
Disheartening-to say the least-the announcement last week, by Nikon, that it will stop producing many of its 35mm SLR cameras. "The measures that Nikon will adopt include discontinuing production of all large format Nikkor lenses and enlarging lenses, as well as several of our film camera bodies, manual focus Nikkor interchangeable lenses and related accessories. Sales of these products will cease as supplies are depleted." see full article at Hart's Big Picture
It's the end of an era. For sure. The digital revolution won an important victory, this week, in the marketplace. The everyday consumer decided the course of photography for the years ahead. Film is out, long live the pixel. The rationale: it's cheaper, and easier for the common man to use. If only life could be this simple. Photography made easy. What a pity. What I love about photography, is just the opposite - that it's not easy. It's an art that requires patience, skill and dedication, and above all, sacrifice. Had it been easy from the start, I probably would not have become a photojournalist. I would have looked for my challenges elsewhere. In another market place - in another industry. Does this mean that photographers in the future will have it all too easy?. Just one click, and then, it's over?. No need for shutters and apertures. No understanding of grain and film. And what impact will this have in our future, when recording history has been made, all too 'easy'. Will we also get bored of trying to leave a record of our humanity, its triumphs and its tragedies, for future generations?. Will history too become obsolete, if the consumer has his way?. Let's not even try to imagine the pictures we would have had, if recording Auschwitz would have been both cheap and 'easy'. Maybe they -the pictures- simply would just not exist. No sacrifice needed, or the pixels, would have crumbled and disappeared. Who can guarantee that the jpeg 'file' can stand the test of time?. Too many questions in what I predict as the new 'dark ages' of media.
picture dedicated to Adi.