In the brief history of photography, 175 years or so, a lot of it has been going out someplace and bringing back your image as a trophy, as a spoil or as a treasure and I think those days are ending pretty quickly.
The photographer Paul Shambroom to Wired’s Rawfile. In Digital Age, Sourcing Images Is as Legitimate as Making Them.
In a lengthy Q&A with Wired, Paul Shambroom suggests that photography is rapidly evolving — morphing might be a better word — into a field that includes working with and collecting the world’s digital output as seen on Flickr, Picassa, Facebook and other photo sharing platforms, as well as new(ish) tools that let us mix, match and mashup that output such as Microsoft’s Photosynth.
He also goes futuristic and thinks that some day we’ll be able to take a picture anywhere in the world without actually being there.
When human beings acquired language, we learned not just how to listen but how to speak. When we gained literacy, we learned not just how to read but how to write. And as we move into an increasingly digital reality, we must learn not just how to use programs but how to make them. In the emerging, highly programmed landscape ahead, you will either create the software or you will be the software. It’s really that simple: Program, or be programmed.
What will it “look” like.
I think if you visually graphed possibilities the future falls on a curve with this as a worst case scenario:
and something like this as a best case scenario:
you’ll start to understand future possibilities.
Where journalism as an industry falls along these lines largely depends if it can successfully crack the digital business model nut. Some trends that we are seeing though is a simultaneous consolidation by established brands of where we get our news (see here and here, for example), a blossoming of niche publications and aggregators that focus specifically on chosen verticals (see here as a sort of example) and increased social layers on top — or behind — the news outlets we follow (for example, here and here).
Who the actual players will be is anyone’s guess. Mine’s that there will be companies started by today’s 10-year-olds that will knock our socks off and be household names.
A truism to keep in mind, whatever I just wrote will probably be obsolete sometime next week.