Monday, February 27, 2012

Photography Books vs Online Photography Presentations

Photography, as is all art, is becoming more democratic. Photography was first embraced by museums and book publishers and then galleries and now there is a new set of distributors of art online widening the audience. Who are they are and what they have to offer is still unclear. But it is clear they will become a major player in the distribution of photography as art. I have nothing against paper photography books or prints, but I have become increasingly aware that when I show someone a photograph whether it is my own or someone else's that it is on a computer or a mobile device most of the time. Online presentation reaches a much larger audience than galleries, museums are books.

Once someone determines how to monetize this new means of distribution, the number of players should increase and this could become the main way that all people are exposed to photography as art. I don't see this as much of a danger to the print market but this may seriously impact photography manuals and monographs in the same way that eBook fiction and non-fiction are currently challenging paper fiction and non-fiction. This change is already evident in the manual segment of the market. It has been a long time since I have bought a photography manual in paper and can't think of any reason why to ever do so again. There are no eBook monographs showing the work of photographers at the level of Andreas Gursky, Cindy Sherman or Jeff Wall. If and when this day comes it should be very interesting to see how their audiences respond.

© 2012 Paul Light all rights reserved


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