Back from outer space

Our humble photography blog went off the air a few years ago as the web reached peak photo.  When the Chicago Sun-Times laid off its entire full-time photography staff.  When the photo I sold for stock reached 1200 views and 12 purchases, netting a cool 7 cents. When the New Yorker cartoon showing two teenagers at a museum remarking at one of Rembrandt's "early selfies" didn't seem so funny anymore. When Ansel Adams' quote that photography had become too easy started to seem more prescient than geezerly.

Did technology ruin photography in the same way it ruined music. Just as any Rebecca Black can be autotuned into a generic pop sensation, my two year old iPhone does enough automatic post-processing to turn any sunset into a Sargent. All without the 10 lbs of gear I used to lug across the country. So why have these breakthroughs in camera technology always felt more depressing than liberating?

Maybe because there are only 8 trillion possible 8-bit color photos at 600x800 resolution, and at the rate we're going, I'd be surprised if we haven't knocked them all off already. What room left is there for creativity?

Photography was fun when it was work. When you had to pre-visualize and plan and try and try but mostly fail. And not just because I'm a self deprecating perfectionist. It was fun when my picture was my own, not the same Yosemite selfie a whole bus load of tourists take twice a day at tunnel view.

But in my heart of hearts, I still love it. So Thin Lens is back.

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