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World Photography Day 2021: What Being a Photographer Means in the Digital Age

Photography has now transformed into a way of communicating and expressing in real-time. (Representational Image: Shutterstock)

Photography has now transformed into a way of communicating and expressing in real-time. (Representational Image: Shutterstock)

World Photography Day 2021: Clicks, snaps, shots have replaced the term photograph in its journey towards digitization

This is an era which is being captured and stored as it is passing by. Clicks, snaps, shots have replaced the term photograph in its journey towards digitization. Photographs used to be an evidence of a moment of the past. However, now the purpose has changed to capture the present, and photography has now transformed into a way of communicating and expressing in real-time.

The change is catalysed more prominently with the occupancy of smartphones in everybody’s pockets. Thus, the hottest tool to communicate with each other has engulfed the realm of photography in a decorous manner.

Henry Jacobson, a renowned cinematographer, in an interview with TIME, said, “Photography has always depended on technology, and every change in technology has affected photography’s history. However, smartphone, in its nature, is a device for communication and not photography.” Jacobson rightly pointed out the crux of the transformational changes in the world of photography.

So, what is it like being a photographer in the digital age? Let’s scrap the surface further to unearth its meaning and significance.

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It is not true that the digital age has completely shattered the sanctity of photography. What it has done is make the art form more accessible, heterogenic, and democratic to the core. Everybody can use their smartphone device to bring out their view of their surroundings to the myriad eyes seeking other perspectives to the world. The art form is not limited to mechanics, moments, and minds.

However, humans are a slave to their own psyche, and one of the elements that rules over us is that – the more we have of something, the less value it has in our lives. And unfortunately, that might also be the case with photography. The weight of the moment that a photograph used to carry has subdued due to the ease of freezing a moment into our data storage.

Does that mean photography is losing value?

Well, No. As mentioned by Cornell Capa, the founder of the International Centre of Photography, “Photography is the most vital and effective means of communication of ideas and perspectives between people and nations at large,” photography can never lose value.

Although, 10 years down the line, our smartphone galleries would not be as appealing as the old photo album containing childhood memories and dust of time that stayed and that which flew.

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first published:August 19, 2021, 08:58 IST