We are in beautiful Tokyo at maybe the most magical time of the year, the beginning of Spring when the Cherry Blossoms bloom.
It’s a sign that after a really rough winter there better days to come. It is a time of optimism and this photograph shot at Shinjuku Gyoen Park in Tokyo made me feel especially optimistic for my passionate pursuit of photography.
For the photo industry there has not been all that much to cheer about in recent times, at least from a business perspective. We keep hearing about the undeniable fact that cell phones are replacing traditional cameras for the masses. The iPhone and other phone cameras are the most popular on the planet.
It makes sense. These cameras are really, really good and offer the convenience of sharing photos instantly without the need to carry a separate device.
This is not good news for camera manufacturers who have seen their markets shrink as a result. And it’s not good news for serious photographers either because despite living in a time where the gear is astoundingly good at a reasonable price, photographers want the innovation to continue.
Much of the amazing technology we now enjoy trickled up from big-selling and highly profitable entry level cameras— and that market which fuels research and development is disappearing.
But this image made me hopeful for our photographic future.
At a significant event like the cherry blossom bloom the locals are out en mass to capture the beauty of this short season. I see a lot of phone cameras for sure but I also see more stand-alone cameras then I’ve noticed in a very long time.
The fact is, as good as your iPhone 7 Plus camera is, there are limitations and there always will be for a camera that’s also a phone and so much more. The serious photographers I see here are using cameras that give them a level of control and offer a variety of lenses that an amazing phone camera cannot.
So I see the proliferation of phone cameras as a great opportunity for the photo industry to convert these users —whose passion for photography is ignited—to a camera that can’t make phone calls.
It’s a growing market they need to exploit by highlighting what many of the people in this picture already know; you need the right tool for the job.
Some images can only be made with a camera that has capabilities beyond what the best phone cameras can offer. But for this statement to be true in the future, high-end innovation needs to continue. I’m optimistic that camera companies will seize this moment–they better.
There are more photographers than ever before. The market is there. The future is bright.