Unplanned consequences always follow dramatic technical changes. In the case of photography, removing the technical challenges has brought about two huge changes. The first is to amplify the democracy of the photographic art. Virtually everyone (thanks to the ubiquitous and technologically advanced smart phones) can now create a technically good photograph. In short, the number of good photographs for us to look at will increase because the number of technically perfect photographs will increase. We will be inundated with all sorts of photographs coming at us from many different sources. Selecting photographs to share and editing these photographs will now be a huge skill photographers of all types will have to master. Figuring out what your photographs need to say and the story they tell will be the most important skill a photographer will have to learn.
The second is the most important consequence for those of us creating personally expressive photographs is this; the adoration of craft is over. Let me repeat that to make a point. The adoration of craft is over. Making a beautiful photograph is no longer a very difficult task. The mechatronics of photographic equipment has eliminated the struggle to create sharp, clear, properly exposed images. There used to be an entire class of art photographers whose major claim to fame was their ability to craft a superior silver gelatin print. These photographers served to inspire us solely on the basis of technical mastery. Technology has made more of us technical masters and that is really a good thing.
The only difference among photographs is the content of the photograph because the attainment of technical control is all but assured through advanced technology. The quality of a photograph is measured on the message delivered by the photographer. What the photograph says is how a photograph should be judged. Others have said it and I will add my voice to those that say, “Content is King.”