Steven Weiss has written a brief profile of David Hobby, the man whose blog, The Strobist, has changed the face of the photography industry. With the amount of information Hobby was able to dole out to amateurs, amateurs started taking pretty darn good photos on their own. The growing number of skilled photographers has had unforeseen effects on the industry:
[P]rofessionals who are outraged at photographers like Lam or at sites like iStockphoto miss the point. Neither Lam nor iStock would have had such an impact if their photography didn’t meet the market’s demand for quality. What’s diluting the market for elite photography is the transfer of professional skill to amateurs—the work David Hobby is doing. Though his blog is entirely about how to light photographs at a professional level, his reader surveys reveal that 86 percent of his readers are amateurs.
As someone who’s just breaking into professional photography myself, these words ring true. But they’re also indicative of the transformative power that the internet has across industries. Film critics can’t make $60,000 per year writing reviews anymore, because mouth-breathing yahoos like me are willing to do it for free, while thousands turn up to hear it.
In the days ahead, I’m going to plan on focusing this blog a bit more on my photography. I’ve just gotten enough gear to the point where I feel ready to shoot/cover any event, and I have some accessories coming in that I’m actually kind of excited about. Expect more photo sets, as well as reviews of cool photo products. As always, your constructive comments are appreciated.
Don’t worry: I’m going to keep sharing the cool links and attempt the full-length blog post every now and again, just as I’ve been doing for the past 5-6 months. But for the near future, photography will be one of my main focuses, and I’ll hope we can learn about this stuff together.