An article from the Sunday edition of The New York Times is sparking controversy – not because of the content of the article, but because of how the photograph adjoining it was taken. The photo was taken by Nick Laham of Alex Rodriguez in 2012, and it was taken on an iPhone and edited entirely through Instagram.
With the cover came blogs lamenting the end of photography. But this isn’t the end of photography, it’s the renaissance. More people are taking photos today than ever before – snapping and sharing moments from every day life to documenting world-changing events. Professional gear is becoming easier to use, and amateur gear like phones and point-and-shoots are becoming more professional in quality.
Similar end-of-days speculation occurred about journalism with the increase in popularity of web publications over print. Yes, large publications have taken a hit. But news has flourished with any person being able to tell or break a story through social media, blog platforms, and user-generated content. We now have more voices and less gatekeepers.
The same cycle is happening with photography. To be a photojournalist, you once needed thousands of dollars in gear and software. Now, we have the gear, software, and publishing tools in our pockets.