I am often asked how I keep up-to-date on new technologies and techniques within the photography industry. Like many photographers and photo enthusiasts, I visit blogs and websites, as well as manufacturer sites to keep current on advancements in digital technology. There is a great deal of evolution in this space. Just look at the transition from film to digital, and then the continuing evolution of digital capture and post processing.
While staying current on technological advancements is certainly an important part of photography, I find myself trying to achieve a balance between the artistic and technical sides of the craft. You could spend so much time attempting to learn all of the new techniques and technologies that you don’t have time to actually create. Or, you can spend all of your time creating and become outdated technologically. The key is to find a balance between the two.
1. I work to achieve this balance in two main ways throughout my photography career:
2. I think first and foremost about what I am attempting to achieve with the tool I am using. Am I attempting to display what I see- like a scene at an event or in nature- or am I exploring the different processing options available? When looking to utilize technology or trends in photography, you may be doing so when an image is taken, during the processing or even with the way it is displayed. Aluminum is a really popular display option right now, for example, but I won’t use it if it doesn’t meet the needs of the project. Ultimately, you have to consider what your goal is for your project or the captured image to know how much and what kind of the new element or elements you should introduce.
I may not know everything about each technological advancement or trend, but I do try to know some of the basic concepts regarding most of them. Having a general understanding of what is available is important as a photographer. Should the need arise during a project based on the goal (see #1), I am aware of what is out there, and can then research more should the opportunity present itself. This is where it is important to read blogs, speak with other photographers and experiment with what is available. My mom has always helped keep me updated on what is happening in galleries and the modern art world, and that is certainly another important place to look for inspiration and ideas.
Again, the most important factor to me is finding a balance between the artistic and technical sides of photography in order to produce finished results that meet the needs of our clients and / or a particular project.