The Journey of Photography: From Box Cameras, DSLRS to Smartphone Cameras

Ranjit Yadav, Managing Director, Canvera Digital Technologies‘Look, a herd of elephants is crossing the road,’ cried Neha. The 13-year old, who was on a road trip with her father, came across this magnificent sight while crossing NH 212 at Muthanga in Wayanad. She suddenly took out her smartphone, clicked a few shots and updated it on her social media page. Within minutes, not only did she receive more than 500 likes and comments, but the young girl also felt that she had further perfected her skill as an amateur photographer.

Welcome to the world of instant photography, where devices like smartphones are able to freeze multiple cherishable moments at the click of a button. Think about the same a decade or two ago. In the past, clicking an image was restricted to the privileged and people had to spend a fortune in order to buy a camera or even get a high-quality picture clicked. Now, tens of hundreds of digital images and videos can be captured saved, processed and printed within minutes. Thanks to smartphones that are equipped with superlative cameras, smartphone photography has become an inextricable part of our lives. What was once deemed to be an expensive passion has become an affordable and friendly hobby with these handheld smart devices.

The photography journey

From pinhole cameras, daguerreotype cameras, box cameras, flashbulbs, 35mm cameras to polaroids, the evolution of photography as a medium of expression has been immense. Several inventors worked on the chemicals, parts and processes to reproduce pictures, but it was in the 19th century that the modern camera came into existence. Until then, it was a tedious task to carry spare photo films, batteries and then wait for days or weeks to get the shots processed into prints. A traditional camera meant that a film must be developed before viewing, which meant a photographer had to very careful about his clicks or else he would end up developing poor images. Gone are those days when people had to rush to photo labs to get their memories printed in an album. The birth of digital cameras has made the process much faster and easier, where images can be stored in a computer, viewed on the screen immediately and printed as per a person’s choice of selection. These days, with further technological advancements, most of the cameras are equipped with WiFi and GPS that enable quick transferring of images along with registration of the location of the photographs as well.

Imagine being able to freeze the motion of a speeding leopard in a forest or a butterfly feeding on a flower or being able to capture the sun and stars from a distance. Photography not only has the ability to inspire your imagination but can also document your journey through life. People are able to see more, learn more and enhance their knowledge by gaining access to images drawn from several places across the world. For instance, a lot of historic moments have been captured with the help of photography. This has helped to understand the progress mankind has made along with evoking a sense of nostalgia in them. In a report titled, Digital Photography Market (Photo Processing Equipment, Interchangeable Lenses, Camera Cell Phones, Non Reflex and Others) for Photography Software, Photo Looks, Photo Processing and Others Applications: Global Industry Perspective, Comprehensive Analysis and Forecast, 2015-2021, Zion Market Research stated that the global demand for digital photography is expected to reach approximately $110.79 billion in 2021, growing at a CAGR of slightly above 6.1 percent between 2016 and 2021.

High-quality photographs help to determine the social image of a person and make them popular icons in the social stratosphere

‘A picture is worth a thousand words’

The need for instant photo solutions has given a boost to the photography market. People are keen to share their experiences of whatever they do or see through images or videos. These days, photographs have become a vital part of social media accounts, newspapers, magazines and even television. It has become the most powerful tool to communicate and express oneself. While smartphones are helping to capture an image, edit it, and upload it within minutes, DSLRs have changed the way people perceive photography with companies such as Canon, Nikon, and Fuji offering a myriad of ever-evolving lenses for telephoto shoots, close-up photography, sports photography, food photography, and others.

Photography as a Profession

The advent of digital cameras has also paved the way for several youngsters to choose photography as a career option. These days, both men and women alike are considering photography as a lucrative career option. Reason? High-quality photographs help to determine the social image of a person and make them popular icons in the social stratosphere. For instance, wedding photography is no more about just having oneself captured while tying the knot. Nobody is keen to pose in the same predictable manner or fill their albums with images of jewellery, decor and random faces. Couples are travelling to picture-perfect locations, making use of props and are experimenting with different lights to capture their special moments. The professional photography market is turning out to be a competitive place for young and budding photographers with a rise in public interest in various types of photography. The photography and print industry have grown substantially with photography being seen as an elite profession. This has also led to the growth of high-end camera phones and photography equipments.

Photography has undergone an amazing metamorphosis; there are umpteen career options within the photography industry that exist now unlike five to ten years ago. There is a steady business proposition for those who have the knack to and interest in beautifully capturing everything from wild life, events to birthday parties, house-warming functions etc. Digital cameras have made it easier for people to start a photography business of their own. What is required of an enthusiast is to invest in a high-end camera, learn the nitty-gritties of photography and then start clicking pictures as per the likes of a customer. The professional photography market is turning out to be a competitive one. Thus every photographer needs the drive and talent in abundance in order to stand out from the crowd.