The other day I got an email touting a new small rangefinder camera. It was really a technological marvel that will technically out-perform my “big” DSLR camera. Today’s photographers have the best technology (well, at least until the next generation of cameras come out) in the history of photography. Why is it, do you suppose, that these cameras are not producing the best photographs in the history of photography? The answer is, “Photographers make photographs, not cameras.” The person behind the instrument is responsible for determining what the photograph is, not the instrument itself.
Even though the technology has made astounding advances since I started photography, it has advanced only as far as the aesthetics of the photographers.
We all look at wonder with the latest technical advances, but they are just better tools and really have no value until someone figures out how to use the better tool to advance the artistic process. These advances are coming so fast there is little time for any of the practitioners to “settle in” with the various tools. We drift from toy to toy and seek to impress each other with technical legerdemain. We become adept at manipulating our toys but don’t spend to discover how to use them to advance their art.