Rise of the new media photographer: Final

(Last Updated On: August 22, 2008)

The new media photographer understands that the surface of photography and its business have changed. We now live in a digital world.  The digital media photographer has embraced the new technologies, workflow, systems of communication and presentation.  Even with the major changes over the last ten years the new media photographer is grounded and understands that the core rules of photography and its business have still remained the same.

Digital photography has changed how photographers approach the craft.  The technology has shortened the learning curve, allowing for more competition. This has forced those who wish to make a career of the new digital media to advance the quality of photographic imagery.   This does not always mean creating complex images.  Sometimes the requirement is to master the simple.

The basics of understanding light, aperture, shutter speed and composition are still the foundations of photography.  But today, new elements have been added making photography more complex with additional steps in image creation.  In my view, art is about the decisions you make and today photographers have many more decisions waiting for them in the postproduction of the image. 

In the “old days” a photographer’s decision was usually finalized with the click of the shutter.  The mystery was if the decisions would be correct when the film was returned from the lab.  Today a photographer’s decisions have to do with the same fundamental elements, but the option of what adjustments are needed on set or in postproduction have greatly changed.  Even the photojournalist, with the mandate of non-interference and capturing the unedited decisive moment, will sharpen, lighten, darken and make color corrections without regret in post-production.

With all the new opportunities the digital age has offered to connect with people, it seems that the human element is often left out.  The new media photographer understands the basics of doing business are still the same, but the tools and opportunities are greater.  Bad habits and poor business skills are amplified in the digital age and in many cases harder to fix or erase. 

Whether a photographer is shooting with film or digital, photography is still about capturing moments with light.  How a photographer wishes to implement technology into his career means very little if he doesn’t remember the business of photography is still about people.


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