on landscape The online magazine for landscape photographers

Casualties of Progress

and the Death of Photography

Guy Tal

Professional photographic artist, author and speaker working primarily in the Western US. Website



Unfortunately what we call progress is nothing but the invasion of bipeds who do not rest until they have transformed everything into hideous quays with gas lamps—and, what is still worse, with electric illumination. What times we live in! - Paul Cézanne

It seems odd that, at a time when photography is more popular and more widely practised than ever, and on the heels of some of the greatest advances in photographic technology, some adamantly proclaim that photography is dead. More bizarre is that fact that we continue to see such baiting headlines despite the fact that similar proclamations were made many times in the past, often in times of marked increases in the popularity and ease of making photographs, and proven false time and again.

Clearly, in the minds of some, photography has lost some of its luster for a variety reasons—whether it is the ease and abundance of phone cameras or the proliferation of selfie-sticks; or because someone paid an egregious amount of money for a picture of a potato; or because someone tried to hype a common image of an oft-photographed view as an original masterpiece of fine art. To those perturbed by such things, I suggest considering a simple question, which is this: why should these have any bearing on the way that you practice photography? 

Clearly, in the minds of some, photography has lost some of its luster for a variety reasons—whether it is the ease and abundance of phone cameras or the proliferation of selfie-sticks

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