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Is Better Photography Inevitable?

CJ Chilvers
CJ Chilvers
1 min read

Author and geek-guru-futurist Kevin Kelly has been previewing his new book The Inevitable on Twitter. He recently tweeted a sentence from the book that specifically spoke about photography:

"Today anyone can instantly take a photo that is a hundred times better than one taken by the average professional a century ago."

I see where he's going with this thought, but is it really true?

What does "better" mean?

Technically better? That's debatable considering the size of the negatives used a century ago and the time devoted to making each image (those negatives were very expensive). Also, those images lasted until today. Will today's digital images last as long?

Does he mean aesthetically better? That's much too subjective. What pleased someone a century ago must be different than what pleases someone today.

And a hundred times?

Maybe it's being a little nitpicky, but this is a common sentiment among technology writers. We mustn't rewrite history to insist photos are better just because technology has progressed. All it means is things have changed. That's only thing about the future we can count on.