From a “technique “ standpoint (or at least mainly non gear-related), what is a genre of photography that has gotten better through the decades?

  1. Wedding photography for sure. I was a second shooter back in 2000-2004 with an old school, high end wedding shooter. We shot everything medium format film with manual focus cameras. We had to shoot "safely" to ensure we didn't' waste film and that we got the shots we needed. There wasn't much room for creativity, but it was efficient. At some point I shot a few weddings digitally and while I could be more creative and loose, the post production was the worst. Glad I don't shoot weddings anymore.

  2. I recently went to a wedding where the videographers had five cameras, some stationary, some carried. It was a two ceremony two day deal too. When I saw the three minute video I just thought about the hours of footage someone (a team?) went through to edit it down.

  3. How many rolls of film do you go through per wedding? That's like 10-15 shots depending on the camera I'm guessing 10-15 rolls as well? Although film probably didn't have the premium cost it has today.

  4. Wildlife. The genre is 50% perseverance and 50% luck. The statistics shifted in favor of the photographer the higher the frame rates and the better the autofocus became.

  5. I’m gonna say the “selfie” considering the medium for selfies over the past 20 or so years. They are substantially better framed, with better angles and quality.

  6. I want to say portraiture/ fashion/ product type photography since its all in a controlled environment that the iteration and learning is more evident, but I would counter that with maybe a lot of that is digital rendering and advanced retouching currently. I think a lot of people in other comments have made the point that the film to digital switch has allowed for more mistakes to be made so your capture rate is higher therefore leading to a higher number of keepers. It also allows you to try something with the only expense being time. Social Media and the internet generally allows for trends (good and bad) to move faster as well so you get the technique or concept reiterated on faster across genres but then it gets watered out as those with less skill start to copy cat it.

  7. My personal opinion is that even if you factor in the ability to clean up mistakes in post, fashion and portrait photography have still advanced considerably in the last decade alone (specifically with regards to lighting techniques).

  8. 70s & 80s game box photography doesn't exist any more, which is good. Some of those kids playing games on the packaging back then were properly odd. Not sure if that's the kind of answer you were after, but that has improved.

  9. It's really interesting how up until maybe the 2000s, advertisers thought the best way to sell games was to show someone else having fun instead of just giving you a taste of the game or an impression of what you were supposed to feel/imagine etc. That was the beauty of box art for the 8 bit and lower eras: the actual game was a bunch of pixels that covered 30% of the screen, but the box art used the power of suggestion so you could fill in the rest of the screen yourself.

  10. No joke. The gear makes a big difference too but the difference in average quality of professional sports photography today vs looking back at stuff from, say, the 70s is startling. There are plenty of great shots from back then, but if you look at the average stuff it's night and day.

  11. Having the loop from execution > examine results > revise and try again be 2 seconds/free for digital instead of hours or days/cost of film development is so great. I had a film SLR in middle/high school and I never really got the hang of it. When I got a DSLR, it was so much easier to get to the point where I had pictures I liked. Earlier this year I started trying to get better at macro, and I can't even imagine doing that on film, it would be like pointing one of those money rain guns into a bonfire.

  12. Yes. I am frequently blown away at the skill level of the old photographers. Their ability to constantly use manual settings with only 36 shots and no auto focus in any situation is incredibly impressive to me.

  13. It's honestly hard to think of an answer; all the improvements I can think of are because of the gear.

  14. Wedding photography is 100% gear-related improvements. Look at wedding photography from the 1950s, when it’s all medium-format black and white film. The images and the quality are stunning. Yes, they were a little more limited, but they’re still gorgeous.

  15. Every answer here is gear-related, except for wedding photography, but even there being able to burst a dozen photos at once and store them on a huge SD card certainly allows for better photos. Not to mention the benefits of autofocus and super high ISO. Shots that were pretty much impossible, or vulnerable to mistakes, now are a lot more reliable. Same goes for sports photography, though that benefits from drones and GoPros too.

  16. All of them, and that’s not just about gear but about education. Back when I learned the only real way to learn was to get another photographer to teach you. Books were expensive, hard to get and often out of date. Photography schools were few and far between, and most people couldn’t afford the time and money to attend one. Me and my friends would often pony up money to bring a good photographer from another city or even country to teach us for a couple of days (there were local photographers, but they were jerks towards noobs, they didn’t want competition). Now kids get to learn everything it took me a decade in just a few months of YouTube tutorials (which is great, I do too). I’ve seen new photographers spring out of the ground on my town and do awesome work which I love. There’s no way those kids would have become this good twenty years ago, it would have taken them decades.

  17. I went to a museum in Washington DC which had photojournalist photos going back 60 years and it was surprising how much better they got as digital cameras came around.

  18. I honestly don't think any form of photography has gotten better from a technique point of view. Gear and technology is the driving factor that allows modern techniques to exist.

  19. High speed, motor racing/sports/you name it, strip away the equipment it's the sheer variety of angles and views that we'd never previously thought possible that we can now observe with accuracy and detail that would be unimaginable just a short while ago.

  20. Street photography: With the invention of stabilized lenses and higher low noise iso settings it's much easier to get a good shot of moving subjects in unreliable light

  21. But we started putting words on clothes and using sans serif fonts which makes the hoop a good street photo has to jump through that bit tighter

  22. I always wonder for these questions how much is technical advancement of technique, and how much is just what is currently in fashion. I think it's often a mix of both, but without an objective method to measure technique it's really hard to pull apart.

  23. That’s an interesting thought. Perhaps when I came up with my question I didn’t immediately consider that gear (maybe pinpointing the switch from film to digital) opened up a world of possibilities by allowing a greater amount of opportunities to experiment without the restrain of a limited number of exposures. And I’m that way, yes, most improvements can be considered gear-related. I meant mostly something along the lines of it’s not that the photo is better because the camera is better, if you catch my drift.

  24. Gear is technique though, which is to say that better tech enables more possibilities for a genre. The ability to shoot at faster shutter speeds, with near-perfect autofocus, has changed photography in all areas. We can capture hundreds of candid photos at a wedding instead of just doing posed ones on film. Or incredible shots of frozen motion in sports and wildlife. Not to mention the rise of GoPro and action cameras.

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