On Tuesday, November 7, I held a Photoshop/Raw Seminar at the Scranton Library in Madison, Connecticut. I enjoy teaching what I know and this seminar worked out well I think. The one challenge I had was when I talked about Photoshop. I THINK due to messaging on my part, SOME attendees were under the impression I knew more about Photoshop than I really do. And that the class would be more about Photoshop than it turned out to be. The flyers that were printed said I would be discussing the advantages of using Raw over Jpg. Then I would be giving some pointers about using Photoshop to streamline editing. A couple questions I received from the audience were about Photoshop that were beyond my experience. I felt like I may have let down some of the attendees because my messaging may have left the impression that I did indeed know more than I do. If I have another seminar I will do my best to improve my publicity.
A week before the class, being that I also work at the library, several people asked me about the class I was leading. One of the questions that arose more than any others was:
How will Photoshop and the DSLR survive in the age of cell phone cameras?
The underlying meaning being, will Photoshop and the DSLR survive the proliferation of more sophisticated cell phone cameras? The long term answer is still in flux. Are we indeed burying our heads in the sand and ignoring the sweeping effects that the cell phone has on the professional photography industry? One example where the cell phone has already negatively affected a once vast business enterprise is the post card. You only have to witness the number of people who now pull out their phones when they are on vacation. The speed by which photos travel is exponentially faster than they ever could via the the traditional mail service.
For the short term however, I believe Photoshop and the DSLR will survive. Not that this is any indication, however, my Photoshop seminar had over sixty attendees. That shows there is still a demand to understand these two applications, Photoshop and the professional camera. My concern however is how short is the short term?
When you look at the postcard example from above, you can understand why this column is being written today. It’s more than discussing my seminar. It’s a warning that if we don’t adapt to the new technology that is coming, we as photographers will not survive. You can see this happening quicker than some of us realize with many in the industry beginning to use cell phones for commercial photography.
As with Photoshop, I don’t have all the answers to the cell phone camera vs DSLRs and Photoshop. However, as I said above I DO KNOW that if some of us continue to ignore the slow
move away from professional cameras we won’t survive.
On another level and in kind of the same vein, I can unequivocally say that when I’m out with my own DSLR and I come across someone who has a point and shoot camera with family and they ask me to take a picture of them, I ALWAYS have a difficult time holding the camera, whether it’s a cell phone or a point and shoot. I’m so used to the heft of my own DSLR I never feel comfortable handling a camera where there is no way to hold it. I wonder whether other DSLR owners feel the same way.
In some regard I think many of my DSLR brethren are holding their breath and indeed burying their heads in the sand; hoping that this particular wave will pass them by. To some degree that’s what I am doing. But we must prepare. We must adapt. Otherwise we will be left behind..
How are you adapting?
In the meantime:
Focus on what's ahead of you.
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