Digital medium format cameras hit the market in 1992, with Leaf’s release of the DCB. At the time, this 4mp back launched what would be a tremendous resurgence of medium format photography, primarily within commercial and portrait markets. But why? These systems cost anywhere from 4-10 times what flagship DSLRs cost. Are they really that much better?
Photography is a wonderfully dynamic form of expression. It is technical, artistic, timeless, evolved. We are in a phase in the industry where cameras and lenses are being designed to take images of mind-blowing quality. They are getting sharper and producing better color than ever before. Autofocus systems are to a point where you can tell the camera which eye to track. The focus of the industry has undoubtedly shifted toward technical perfection.
However, amidst the ever-improving image quality, we often lose the emotional connection that images from generations past have. The more we focus on how sharp the lens is and what settings someone used, the more we forget about why we started taking photos in the first place.
I am in many networks and circles comprised of professional and aspiring professional photographers. There are a lot of questions that get asked on a regular basis, but one of the ones I hear the most is “Should I specialize?” Should they focus on one genre or a couple of related genres, rather than being the Jack/Jill-of-all-trades?
When we first start out in photography, most of us will take pictures of pretty much anyone. We have no idea what our artistic voice and vision will be. We explore and experiment in nearly any field we can, finding our styles and preferences. Eventually, we figure out what we like and don’t like to photograph.