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I went on a short streetcar ride with my son a few days ago. It was a 100 year old japanese streetcar running on a short section of track that only runs during the summer. There was only a few weeks left before they were going to shut it down for the winter season. We were taking some photographs and a young pair photography students hopped on board with a larger format film camera and heavy tripod. They were off the the farmer's market to try to capture some images.
The volunteers running the streetcar were older gentlemen asking lots of questions about the equipment the students were using and about DSLR's in general. It was interesting to eavesdrop on their conversations.
When we hopped out after our round trip, there were two more people taking photographs of the train. Expensive equipment, but I wasn't sure if the photographers were anything more than recreational. The democratization of photography.
Digital media has made taking photographs much easier. I also think, however, that it has almost devalued the past efforts of great film photographers. Photographing without reviewing photos instantly and being able to print out copious images really changes how you photograph. The feedback loop between a good and a bad photograph was once so detached but now it is instant. Technology has made reasonable photography accessible to the masses, it is no longer the purview of the elite. In some ways this a shame, in other ways it gives creates opportunities for many.
All this from a 20 minute streetcar ride with my son.