- Photography: The 50 Most Influential Photographers of All Time
- The History of Photography: From 1839 to the Present
- A World History of Photography
- Camera: A History of Photography from Daguerreotype to Digital
- A History of Photography: From 1839 to the Present; The George Eastman House Collection
- Seizing the Light: A Social History of Photography
- Photography: History and Theory
- Photography After Conceptual Art
In part 1, I discussed some of the advancements and inventions that have made the greatest impact on digital photography. However, one article was not enough to cover it all, so I've created a part 2. This isn't a comparison of how digital has made improvements over film, but rather how digital has advanced in the last 10 years.
Like it or not, High-Dynamic Range imaging has become very popular recently, and there is probably no other topic on which photographer's have more heated arguments. Many love the look of HDR and many hate it. Some say it allows them to capture a scene as they see it. Others say it's just a method of butchering an image.
Regardless of your opinion on the matter, HDR has seen quite a movement in recent years. There has a been a lot of debate as to how much digital manipulating can go into an image before it stops being a photograph and simply becomes a digitally created image. Different groups have set different boundaries, and while HDR is one of the much more noticeable effects, it seems to have been accepted by many as an acceptable means of altering an image.
Whether this is a good or bad thing for the photography world is hard to say. But it definitely has propelled the subject of digital manipulation in photography.
There have been many improvements in lenses over the last 10 years: better quality, better focusing, new glass coatings to cut down on certain unwanted effects. But I think one of the most impressive has been the invention of vibration reduction/image stabilization technology. This system has been implemented in many telephoto lenses to reduce the amount of camera shake in the photo. It basically allows your glass to “float” and can significantly reduce image blur due to camera movement.
Some of the new lenses being produced claim that you can use up to 3-4 stops slower shutter speed than you would normally be able to use without getting blurred images. This is much better than the old system of cropping the sensor/image to make the camera shake less noticeable. Although this technology benefits a smaller population of photographers who use telephoto lenses for sports and wildlife, it has made a big impact in those fields.
Though price isn't a technological advancement, it is a change that has impacted the photography scene. There are so many affordable consumer cameras out there now that anyone can get into photography. Even DSLRs have become far more affordable then they once were. This, along with the camera phone, has seen the web flooded with digital photos. Some good, some not so much. But it has definitely become a huge market for camera makers, and numerous photography communities have sprung up as a result of this boom in camera ownership.
Written by Spencer Seastrom
Photo copyright PhotographyTalk member Steve Albano