Recent culture has taken a dramatic shift against cultural norms and advances in technology. Hobbyists and connoisseurs of all crafts have suddenly taken a step back to “appreciate” the technology of times past like never before.
The majority of today’s movie features are remakes of cinema favorites from the 50s or 60s, and those that aren’t are either movie adaptations of books like The Great Gatsby or movies that highlight a past time. American Hustle, anyone? Fountain pens have reached new heights in popularity due to the resurgence of an interest in hand-crafted calligraphy. Postcards are suddenly popular amidst the height of the digital age, where “snail mail” has been a thought of times past. TuneIn Radio, a popular website that allows users to listen to radio stations around the world, hosts 40 million listeners per month as last estimated, making it more popular than Netflix with its 33 million viewers per month according to statistics.
This is mind-blowingly stellar. These movements in society are representations of where society wants to take its lead from. We’ve realized that at every turn, modern society has turned in the wrong direction to find its lead. Like the lost driver driving back for miles so that he can take the other path at the fork in the road, the world has recognized that the best way to create a better society is to start “from scratch” in some sort.
Can photography have its moment to shine in such a world? Fortunately, it already has.
In a world where digital photography reigns king, a kind of resurgence has taken place. In the academic world, the past five to ten years have seen professors taking a radical shift to teach students the art of photography with its non-digital tools: the darkroom, film and photography without digital precision in lenses. In the hobbyist and professional aspect of photography, photographers have taken a liking to making their way of life a hobby, full of shows and gallery viewings that have sprung up in a flash. These viewings of stellar art popularize what photographers have shied away from forever: whereas photography has been made popular and accessible to the everyday user through digital innovation, viewing art that was created using non-digital cameras has brought about this spark from other photographers to create their art using tools they’d never imagined they would ever touch, let alone care about.
Is this the tip of the iceburg for a resurgence in photography’s old technology?