Freedom, photography, and the "Power of Open"

Photographer Jonathan Worth sez, "I've written an article for the Telegraph that argues for searching out new business models from old relationships. It posits 'free' as an emotive distraction. Similarly it argues that the notion of photo/media-convergence is being mis-represented as a 'what technology does' issue rather than what it will come to mean. It suggests that the important issues for trace-storytellers (photographers in this case) are not 'will new cameras kill the decisive moment' but instead questions what this century's decisive moment will be. The 'big-reveal' is that the article itself is not paid for by the Telegraph but two other parties – those whom the author (me) decides are most likely to benefit."

This reluctance to accept the shift and recognise alternative ways of leveraging 'free', is born out of a tendency amongst photographers to see technology in terms of what it does rather than what it means. The latest Red cameras see photographers clamouring over the future of the 'decisive moment', a phrase coined by the Henri Cartier Bresson in the last century that referred to a precise moment at which everything came together, Zen-like, both in the mind of the photographer and in the 'real world'. Red cameras can shoot movies at such high resolution that print-ready still frames can be pulled directly from the footage, leading some to call this a 'convergence' and others citing futuristic films as proof of such an inevitability.
Mo< If the lessons learned from free and instantaneous modes of delivery teach us anything, it's not that photographers of the future will be hosing down decisive moments by the terabyte. It tells us that the decisive digital moment will be when the subject takes ownership of their story in real-time and engages in dialogue with the audience and the creator. The decisive convergence that technology is driving toward is not one of stills vs moving capture, but one of traditional content supplier vs mediated authorship and direct engagement with the audience.

"[A] tendency … to see technology in terms of what it does rather than what it means." There's an epithet for the age we live in, all right.

How the Power of Open can benefit photographers

(Thanks, Jonathan!)