How should traditionalists handle the new landscape of photography?
NOTE: Welcome to the first RWR in blog form! I'll be adding our back catalog of blogs in the coming days and weeks!
We've seen it coming for years: digital was getting better and it was only a matter of time before it caused major shifts in how cameras were made and sold. Since the beginning of this year, the pace has picked up--so much so, that there can only be one word to describe what's happened to the world of camera-makers and film companies:
Consider what's happened since the dawn of 2006:
• Konica Minolta stopped making photographic equipment.
• Nikon discontinued manufacture of all but two film cameras.
• Mamiya announced its intention to stop making photography equipment.
• Fujifilm announced 5,000 job cuts in its film division, and started to diversify into non-photographic fields.
• Kodak announced it will raise its film prices by as much as 17 percent.
• Leica entered a partnership with Panasonic.
• Samsung announced its first SLR, in partnership with Pentax.
• Olympus announced it's sharing technology with Panasonic.
• Sony announced it will soon make digital SLRs, called Alpha, using the Minolta mount.
And it's only April. Eight months to go.
Surveys are showing that, as the cost of scanners and printers drop and quality has reached photographic resolution, photographers are abandoning their darkrooms for light rooms with computers and inkjet printers. Ilford, recently saved from oblivion by a new owner, keeps the flame going. Berrger, Oriental are also still making black-and-white paper and chemistry, but Kodak has stopped making paper. Agfa, once the world's biggest film companies, is out of photography altogether.
So, what are you doing about it?
How are you dealing with all of the changes? Are you joinig the crowd and embracing some or all aspects of digital? Are you still printing away in your darkroom, changes be damned? Do you feel threatened by the changes in technology or do you welcome the new possibilities they offer? Leave your comments here!
Remember that after an earthquake, there must be rebuilding. How will we rebuild?