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Newsflash! Death of Photography Greatly Exaggerated!

By fotosiamo on July 7th 2013

Nowadays, it seems that video-recording is all the rage. From point-n-shoots and smartphones to high-end full-frame DSLRs, one feature that you are likely to find is video-recording capability. And while it’s true that YouTube has been around for many years, the phenomenon of instant uploading of videos to the web did not really become mainstream until Twitter’s Vine and Instagram’s video-record.

But luckily, despite the surge of video uploads on the internet, photography is very much alive. As photographers, do we have to worry that someday, the advancement of video cameras and video camera apps will make photography obsolete?

Probably not.

A recent article by New York Times proclaims in its title, “the death of photography has been greatly exaggerated.” The author goes on to explain why photography will continue to be relevant has to do with the way our human minds resonate more with still images than with video clips. It’s an interesting insight to a topic that has probably been debated since the early days of age of cinema theaters that had some critics back then proclaiming the death of still images.

So do photographs have a longer shelf life today than videos?

There are a handful of photographs throughout the last 100 years that most us who live in the US can instantly recognize. For example, Associated Press photographer Joe Rosenthal’s Pulitzer Prize-winning photograph of the raising of the flags at the island of Iwo Jima during World War II. This image has not only stood the test of time, but the symbolism remains as important today as it did during World War II.

Iwo Jima by Joe Rosenthal

Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima by Joe Rosenthal / The Associated Press

But did you know that there is an accompanying video footage of this event? You can see a portion of it in the video below.

It may be argued that if the video was the only record of the event, that the flag raising of Iwo Jima may not have retained such a long-lasting effect across generations.
And yet, when you ask the general public about popular culture, I have a feeling that people will be able to come up with more legendary movies like Godfather than legendary photos.

So do you agree with the New York Times article in regards to the longevity of photographs versus video? Do you feel that video will continue to become a more important part of our daily lives, especially with the advancement of technology and the rise of popular video sharing services such as Twitter’s Vine and Instagram videos?

Or do you feel that with the amount of images and videos being uploaded every minute of every hour are devaluing each medium, making them more temporary than ever?


Joe is a rising fashion and commercial photographer based in Los Angeles, CA. He blends creativity and edge with a strong style of lighting and emotion in his photographs. Be sure to check out his work at www.fotosiamo.com and connect with him on Google Plus and on Facebook


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  1. Joseph Prusa

    Thanks for sharing

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