Quick Quotes: Alec Soth

“This is the same problem I have with digital photography. The potential is always remarkable. But the medium never settles. Each year there is a better camera to buy and new software to download. The user never has time to become comfortable with the tool. Consequently too much of the work is merely about the technology. The HDR and QTVR fads are good examples. Instead of focusing on the subject, users obsess over RAW conversion, Photoshop plug-ins, and on and on. For good work to develop the technology needs to become as stable and functional as a typewriter.”

Alec Soth

Too much focus on the technology and not enough on the picture and the emotions it generates.  So many software upgrades that we are upgrading before we have come close to mastering the prior version.  Pixel people instead of composing.  I know I have been there!  My guess is that we all have.

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2 Responses to “Quick Quotes: Alec Soth”

  1. Gianguido Says:

    While I understand the feeling, I’m not crazy about the tone in the quote. It makes it seem like this is inevitable, almost compulsory. I think there is a risk, a serious one, of getting caught by tech but 1. No gun to our heads and more importantly 2. Tech is also what brings a camera in every pocket, with entire books being made of iPhone pics etc.

    The second point is proof of the first. We needn’t be enslaved to pixels&plugins. Learning how to escape the shackles, getting over the upgrade itch, is as simple as searching Flickr for photos from a 5yr old camera, even a point and shoot, and realizing how an old Nikon D40 could make wonderful images in the right hands… My standard strategy when beginners get the itch and come to me for advice.


  2. Howard Says:

    Great points in response to the quote!

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