Monday, February 18, 2008

The democratization of the tools of production

I attended a bike race this past weekend, and decided to take my camera. It was a 3 mile long course, and I walked about a mile of it taking photos. More than once on my photowalk I couldn't help but notice the number of people sporting some pretty high-end digital camera equipment. The equipment used to be so expensive that only professionals could afford it.

I feel a little sad for the people who used to make their livings taking photos. On the other hand it was kind of cool to think that every inch of this race was being documented in a way that was impossible just a couple of years ago. I took over 1000 photos. I wouldn't be surprised if the total number of images generated for this event numbered in the millions.

When I was looking though my photos this evening I came across this gem. It certainly isn't one of my better photos, but when I saw that every single person in the frame had a camera I just had to post it. Seriously, it was like this everywhere on the course. Actually, this was one of the lower camera density locations.

So when I saw this today I couldn't help but think "duh-huh": "U.S. media employment in December fell to a 15-year low (886,900), slammed by the slumping newspaper industry." It has to be tough trying to compete with an army of citizens.

UPDATE: On just this event, there were 16,384 photos posted to Flickr, it was mentioned in 18,612 blog posts, and 368 videos were uploaded to YouTube.


Peg Boyles said...

6,384 photos on Flickr, 18,612 blog posts, 368 videos...

Do you suppose the digicam revolution will generate more interest among Americans in bike racing, Kevin, maybe even get more people onto bicycles themselves?

[Man, lookit the great leg muscles on that cyclist you shot. Inspiration for more hours on the trainer.]

Kevin Gamble said...

Ahh, you want legs? Let me post you another. :)

As they say, "cycling is the new golf." I don't think we've seen its popularity peak just yet.