How photography can evolve in powerful and therapeutic new ways

Since the 1800s, photography has been one of the most popular methods for documenting everything that happens in our world. Cameras have evolved since Joseph Nicéphore Niépc invented the first system, and the way we create images has evolved as well. Over the past two decades, videography has begun to overtake the still image, with many photographers making the switch. That doesn’t mean photography is dead or about to die, but there is a new way to evolve.

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How photography has already evolved

In its early days, photography had plenty of room to grow and improve. Technological advances in hardware have made it possible to create images with greater detail. And I think it’s fair to say that the hardware has peaked in terms of image quality. We haven’t seen much improvement lately, and every camera on the market today is capable of helping photographers create good images. The Leica M11 and the OM system OM1 We’re trying to push things along, but we may have reached the limit of what we can achieve in terms of image quality, time will tell.

In photography, it’s hard to create something that hasn’t already been created. When you look at the masters of photography, even though they were talented, what makes them special is that they were the first to create images in a way that society had never seen before. Today we see many similar photographs. Few photographers cross borders.

Understanding the consumption of photography in culture

Over the decades, the way society consumes content has also evolved. First was the written word. Then, the cameras made it possible to combine words and images. And then videography came along and took content creation to another level. The internet, especially over the past 10 years, has propelled video creation and consumption to the forefront of creative media. Many photographers jumped ship, with some proclaiming that photography was dead. Although this is not true, pursuing a career in photography has become much more difficult. The mainstream media is happy with Joe Public’s smartphone photos, and with more people taking up photography than ever, it’s become too competitive. Talent alone is not the way to reach the top or even get close.

So, with the complexity of shooting video and photographers having an edge over a total creative novice, it made sense to switch to video in order to pursue a career in the arts. However, the reality is that many photographers don’t want to film. Although the two are closely related, they are very different. Many of us, myself included, prefer to devote our energy to developing the still image.

So, with image quality at its highest and nearly every type of photography you can imagine already done, how can photography stay alive and healthy?

“Although it exists, I rarely see photographers combining their images with music.”

New direction for photography

Before my days in photography, I was heavily involved in music. I was DJing at nightclubs, producing music, and had an online radio show. Life took a different path and photography became my main passion, but my love for music never faded.

Although it exists, I rarely see photographers combining their images with music. With YouTube, Instagram, and other content creation platforms, it’s certainly possible, and I’ve done it myself many times. Music and photographs are powerful tools for evoking emotions. When brought together, they can take the viewer on a wonderful journey that takes their mind to deeper levels of thought and feeling.

I remember a conversation with an old photographer friend. She told me, “I edit photos while listening to music because music helps direct the way I edit my images.” However, when that photograph is posted online, his entire audience receives the image. I think it lessens the emotional impact it might have on a person.

Imagine a totally immersive audiovisual experience that allows the viewer to unlock certain parts of their mind. Beyond stimulation, the experience could even be therapeutic and help promote a new long-format style that is setting photography in a new direction for years to come. You can see an abbreviated example of how I think photography can evolve here.

final thought

Photography will never die. It may be different 100 years from now, but still motion and the recording of events in our world will still be in demand. However, we need to find ways to keep it engaging. Photography with music can definitely help with this.

The introduction of NFT Photography will likely help photographers become more creative in how they deliver content. Gen Z will demand more from the still image, and rightly so.

I encourage you to spend time with your images and create an online music gallery. In a world where VR Galleries exist now, the future of photography consumption is exciting and further confirmation that the still image will live on.

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