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  • Writer's pictureHinton Magazine

Has Photography Hit the rocks?

Did you know; over 5 million photos are uploaded to Instagram daily? If you turned each of those photographs into humans, our daily birth rate as a species would increase by 1328%. Millions of people use the application every day to document a spectrum of topics; from trivial to some of the most inestimable. I am sure that amongst my readers and followers there are a few who would jump to the defence of its cherish-able worth, and lay assured, I can see the potential, congenial side of it. However, as an avid photographer, I can't help but worry for the future of domestic, true to life photography... Personally, the journey into the photographic world was not one which created a lot of fuss or required it. I owned a simple compact camera, capable of taking classic snapshots. I was around the budding age of 11 and stalked a rather frustrated seagull for a rather frustrating amount of time until I achieved a result I was pleased with. The rest; history. Yet, looking back, the process in developing (excuse the pun) my skills and experiencing life through a viewfinder was something more than simply black and white (and again). Receiving my first DSLR from my Granddad was one of the most memorable milestones. Suddenly, the world of "Auto" settings was too simple, and shutter speed, aperture and ISO became my modern day three amigos. From then on, with another inherited DSLR, my excitement was soon transferred into the world of reflectors, filters and hours upon hours trying to shoot a photograph of a water droplet (which was quite successful after building very complex structures out of books and a jam making stand). At the time, if I spouted out my interests in this foreign language of complex terms to friends at secondary school age, I would be met with a sluggish roll of the eyes, and slowly I would be sat alone as they filtered out (I'm on a roll), due to boredom. Yet, this was how I liked it. Only a select few understood the technicalities and the complexity of capturing that photograph. Only quote the great quote understood what it meant to freeze a a car passing at 90mph with a perfectly out of focus background due to a shallow depth of field yet mastering the perfect exposure. Yet, most rarely and importantly at all were those who were not bored by this kind of talk. How times have changed. Ask most people of my generation (the 90's kids if you're wondering) what hobbies they pursue and straight out of their mouth like a duck to water will fall the word photography Check the same persons phone, and I can almost guarantee that Instagram will display under quote recent apps & quote. I understand that Instagram can be cool, I understand that it can be useful, but please can we gain some sort of definition in photography? I may sound old fashioned, moaning and boring (no change if you ask my family or boyfriend), but I feel that photography is being classed as the ability to take a photo with a piece of equipment- whether it be a phone or a camera. This is further heightened by how easy it is to seemingly "understand" settings through your applications. And that is wrong. Photography is the ability to see a photograph in something that others would see as nothing. Photography is the ability to spend hours upon hours creating or waiting for the perfect shot. Photography is editing, learning, developing. The next time somebody tells you they like photography, please ask them one simple question; does sitting in wind, rain or snow for over an hour with only a tripod and camera; yet the opportunity to capture only one decent photograph in this time interest or excite you? Because photography is not your mobile phone, the lens attachment for your iPhone or tackling a crowd whilst taking a well-lit and filter coated selfie in front of Big Ben on your iPad. Photography is more than that; photography is a passion, and it is time to bring it back.

Emma Southwell

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