So before we talked about what our photography might have looked like if we’d been born a generation older, and you all had plenty to say.
Let’s throw our time machine into forward gear and project to five years from now. What will your photography look like then?
For me, I imagine something like this…
I predict it’s not entirely impossible I’m using just a camera phone.
The evolution of simplicity I’ve been exploring through invisible cameras, irreversible photography and zero processing extending further towards its natural vanishing point.
My processing will likely be a matter of a couple of swipes and taps in my phone for each image.
I’ll use an app like Hipstamatic or Snapseed, which by then I will be as familiar with as the back of my hand.
My storage will be entirely in the cloud.
Again an evolution of my currently thorough but somewhat archaic manual method of having folders for cameras, lenses, dates etc on my MacBook.
I will have let go of obsessive labelling of images.
The only details I’ll have on my photographs – aside from the embedded EXIF I’ll likely ignore anyway – will be the date I took the picture.
I won’t care which camera/film/lens I used, as long as I like the final image and enjoyed making it.
I’ll probably still have my Asahi Spotmatic, a camera I’m too fond of to sell or give away, plus a Super-Takumar 55/1.8 lens.
All other film cameras and lenses will be gone.
My DSLRs will have been moved on too.
I might still have a compact like the Pentax Q and a lens or two, for occasions when I want more than the cameraphone. But mostly it’ll likely be gathering dust along with the Spotmatic.
I’ll edit more ruthlessly than ever, keeping only the very best of my images (by my judgement!).
Overall, the journey I’ve been on through a hundred cameras and twice that many lenses will have wound down to a steady, contented pace.
Simple photography, simple kit, simple processing, simple storage. Simple pleasures.
The hunting of 35hunter will no longer be about searching frantically for the right tools, the perfect camera that doesn’t exist, but almost purely seeking beautiful compositions I can make with them.
This blog itself will have passed 500 posts and still be going strong. With you still reading, still sharing. We’ll be old(er) friends by then.
I’m looking forward to my photographic future. How about you? How will your photography world look five years from now?
Please let us know in the comments below (and remember to tick the “Notify me of new comments via email” box to follow the conversation).
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23 thoughts on “Five Years From Now My Photography Will Look Like…”
Dan, this is a really good post, as it’s made me think a little more, it’s far easier to go backwards than it is to go forwards… on saying that, hopefully the gear I’ve got will still be working …. fingers crossed, it “should” all be past the predicted lifespan of the shutter count, so I may well be buying gear that is “today’s gear” as I never buy up to date stuff….. I most probably will still be doing as I do now which is to keep all shots on a dedicated stand alone storage device as well as my computers hd…. who knows I may well still have space on my 2Tb device…. being totally honest I can’t see that side of things changing as it’s something I like and do with little effort. Plus storage is so cheap… a stand alone can be had for as little as £35.00. So far as what shots I’m taking, well I may well be doing my normal thing of taking shots of buildings around locally as it’s my way of saving the beauty of old buildings, and we still thankfully have loads here in the Potteries, I will most definitely still be doing my “seasons” shots… and with good luck I will of got better at capturing birds in flight….something I find hard to do, or it maybe just that my OCD kicks in and requires me to ditch yet another picture just because the feathers aren’t quite spread out correctly…. either way, I will still be doing photography, and yes I will be following you and your posts, and yes we by then will of become good friends…may we all still be doing that eh.. thanks for an interesting post… looking forward to the next one, and the next one after that… BR Lynd
Lynd, thanks for your thoughts. What would you like to improve about your photography in the next five years?
My photography will be 300% better than it is today. The best of my work will be noticeably, almost stunningly, better. My average work will cease to be average.
This because I will have on the order of 10 cameras, 3 of which I use all the dang time, and I will stop screwing around with new-to-me gear all the time. I’ll have tools for jobs and I’ll become very good with those tools.
I don’t know about storage and file-naming and whatnot. I don’t know that I care. I want to make more better pictures.
Jim, determined words, you sound like a man on a mission!
How will you know you’re making “better” pictures?
When I think about your photos and blog, the ones that always immediately jump out in my memory are the two sets from a car show last year – one was in b/w, the other in colour, Fuji Superia 100. To me they really stood out amongst your work as being on a different level. When I looked at them I was thinking “this is a photographer who has mastered their kit and their subject”. For what it’s worth…
I wonder how much a factor our editing is in how we perceive our own standard or level? If keep say 50 of every hundred shots we make, we’re more likely to think of our photography as average when reviewing these photos. The very best ones become diluted in a way by the less good ones. But if we kept, say, just the very best one out of every 100, we would probably think we’re a much better photographer, because of the higher concentration of our best photos. I’m sort of asking myself this question as much as I am you!
Odds are my photography will look much as if does today.
I started photography in 1952 shooting 127 B&W film with a Kodak Brownie. By 1958 I was shooting 35mm B&W film with my father’s Leica IIIc which he no longer used, having switched to a Rolleiflex, and developing my own film.
Since then I have flirted with a wide variety of cameras and materials. RF, SLR, TLR and P&S. Analog and digital. Color and B&W. Film formats from 16mm to 4×5. But the pattern is always the same. I spend some time – often a number of years – shooting B&W film with an LTM Leica. Then I get restless and briefly try something else. But it doesn’t satisfy and in a relatively short time – usually just a few weeks – I switch back to shooting B&W film in an LTM Leica.
So the odds are that in five years I will still be shooting 35mm B&W film with old Leicas, scanning the negatives with a digital camera, printing digital contact sheets and making archival B&W prints to hang on our walls and give to family members and friends – with occasional brief forays into other equipment and materials.
Doug, it’s great to hear about someone with such a deep photographic history. Especially as my photography adventure is really only about 12 or 13 years old.
Do you still have the same Leica IIIc or a different one now?
Dan, My father had two Leica IIIc’s in his collection, the one I used and another one he bought years later. My sister has one of them. I have the other. Sadly, neither of us knows which is which.
On the continuing one camera topic, I’m sort of a fence straddler. I only use LTM Leicas these days but I have five of them, all are essentially interchangeable except for the IIIg with its bigger viewfinder and perspective correcting frame lines.
Doug why do you have that many? Do you have a different lens on each and just switch cameras rather than switching lenses on one camera?
I have a weakness for them. Two of them were inherited from relatives. The others I just liked, and the price was right. Only two of them are in use at any one time – one loaded with HP5+, the other loaded with FP4+.
And don’t get me started on 50mm lenses 😋
Oh tell me about it with the 50s… I wrote about it around this time last year…
Hi Dan, in answer to your question, I think the one thing I’d like to improve is to gain some insight as to how the best of the best “see” a shot, there are many different times when I’ve been out and about and have not seen those shots that others see, or even seen a shot full stop, one thing that I don’t agree with is “copying”…. in my view it’s not photography it’s what it is copying…. but spotting those ” killer” shots isn’t easy by any stretch of the imagination … and yes I know that if we could all see them then we’d all be copying…. are we born to see those shots, is it a natural trait that can’t be learnt or expanded on?? Who knows…. I suppose I want to stop the disappointment that comes when I get back home and view the days shots, there’s only so many times one can say “duff” before it becomes boring….
Sorry about the “downer” of a post…. but you did ask…..
Lynd, do you mean see a shot as in a fleeting, decisive moment like Henri Cartier-Bresson spoke about? Or just finding the right composition within a static scene? I think the two are different and require different skills and practising.
Hi Dan. Another thought provoking post. I am still musing about the camera monogamy post. I only starting taking pictures again recently after a lapse of many years. So, I hope to improve my photography in several ways, I want to improve my compositions and also technical skills. I have never scanned film or made digital prints, and have been getting lessons from a young friend. I am also taking an online class to learn how to use my iPhone better. I will use fewer cameras, thats for sure. I never thought I would even consider it, but I could see giving up film.
Jon, thanks for your thoughts. Two years ago I couldn’t see me giving up film, I would have laughed at the suggestion. I loved it too much, and whilst I’ve also shot digital alongside, I thought film offered me too many unique aspects that digital couldn’t. Turns out that when I broke it down, digital gives me most of what film photography does, plus added convenience and simplicity, and its more affordable. I started 35hunter thinking it’d firmly be a film photography blog. But things evolve and we have to go with what works for us, what we enjoy best… I haven’t shot a whole roll of film in over a year now I think.
Thanks for the rely Dan. That is good to hear. Affordable is very important to me right now. It makes sense that you were pretty invested in film…new technology can be a challenge but I can do it!
Jon, I first wrote about this here – https://35hunter.wordpress.com/2017/03/05/how-i-shoot-film-with-a-digital-sensor/ – and then some months later I confessed about my “great film fallout” here – https://35hunter.wordpress.com/2017/08/10/guilty-secrets-and-the-great-film-fallout-2017/
Although as you know, my cameras have further evolved since then and this year have used a Ricoh GRD III, Pentax Q and phone camera almost exclusively.
Dan, I have absolutely no idea where my photography adventures will take me. it has been a wonderful adventure so far. I have no idea even what photography I will do today. At the moment I have the intention of doing it daily which I haven’t done in a long time. It is good being back to a daily practice. That could change tomorrow. who knows. I do though hope we are still good friends and I am sharing the journey with you in some way online lots of love from susanJOY
Susan, many people have tried (and continue to pursue) a photograph a day challenge (lots of people called it PAD for short). I kind of do it anyway, but for anyone who doesn’t I’m sure it’d be a fascinating experiment. Let us know your plans.
I think it’s more about capturing those desicive moments…. making photos that mean something, showing light and shade, but showing at times the boldness that makes a viewer go wow……for me not all shots “have” to be technically advanced perfection, there’s as much expression to be had from being slightly blurred around say the edges as there is in being pin sharp, but all photos have to have a meaning…. if that makes sense….. re reading what I’ve just written doesn’t read that well, ….. but I suppose I’m looking for something different from what I normally shoot…
At times when taking shots of Victorian buildings I often think am I doing this building justice, am I capturing what the architect “meant” to express… am I giving this building meaning….
Maybe Lynd you just need some mini projects? Just picking a simple topic like “up close” or “textures” or “circles” then focusing on these as you’re out photographing might give you some new angles and fresh inspiration?
I have a book called The Street Photographer’s Manual which has lots of ideas and I would heartily recommend –
Thoughtful post Dan, and there’s a great possibility that you might be right!
Who knows Sam, maybe I’ll get tired of it and revert to my old Spotmatic!