Laura has decided that my career during retirement will be to take photographs, frame them, then try to sell them at booths in various festivals such as Art in the Park. OK, I’m glad she thinks my photos are that good. I, for one, think she’s a bit biased, and that most of the time I have no idea what I’m doing when I take pictures. I’ve still got a good ten years or so before I can consider retiring (unless this lottery thing works out), so during that time either my skills will improve, or the technology will improve to the point that anyone can take fabulous shots. Most likely, both.
Should technology improve to that point than anyone can take great pictures, finding buyers would be a problem. If anyone can do it, why pay? However, I guess there will always be the artistic element of composition and manipulation. It’s probably reached that point now. What I do now is almost trivial compared to what used to be required to get the same shots. The level of control I have over the images through Photoshop would have taken specialized skills and tons of darkroom equipment. That’s just not necessary any longer. I’m not sure there is even a place in Greenville where one can buy chemicals now.
Here’s a similar tale…When I was in high school I learned calligraphy. I could do an Old English script, as well as several variations of flowing scripts. I got pretty good at it, and did several illuminated Bible verses and quotations for friends. I also earned some pocket change by hand-lettering wedding invitations envelopes and place cards. That budding career as a scribe came to an abrupt halt with the advent of multiple fonts and laser printers. Desktop publishing did me in. I can’t remember the last time I picked up a calligraphy pen. I do remember that it was one of the most relaxing hobbies I’ve ever had. My concentration was so great that I would tune out everything, including the troubles of the day.
In a sense, my calligraphy career only took a different direction. I became a specialist in technology, with skills in desktop publishing and web design. The technology and workflow changed, but what I was doing was essentially the same thing. This will be the same with photography. I know that by the time I retire, I will probably have upgraded computers, printers, and cameras at least a couple of times. There will probably be something that replaces Photoshop, but I’ll still be shooting images of some sort.
I did have to remind Laura that my favorite photos were taken in England, the Florida Keys, Colorado, Maine, California, and Washington State. I guess if this is to be a career, it will be one that requires travel.