So as technology rolls mightily along, perhaps some of you who are in the know have heard about Apple's latest invention, the iPad. From what I understand it is that incredibly corny Amazon Kindle digital book reader thing you tend to see people in suits on the 6 train below 86th Street reading but Apple's version of this, aka beefed up and made incredibly cool. Word on the street is that advertising agencies are already working with big companies to design multimedia pieces specifically for the iPad. I can only assume that what the iPod did to the music industry the iPad will do to the magazine and newspaper industry. In 5-10 years you will be reading magazines, the newspaper and however else you access information, on the iPad, as well as whatever other stimulants, time wasters and general over flow you desire, facebook, itunes, blogs, you tube, etc etc. The people you will see on the train actually reading a paper magazine in 10 years will be seen with that same "what a behind the times weirdo" look as the people today who still buy cds. And so it has begun folks. And the content of magazines and newspapers (the NY Times seems to be ahead of the curve in terms of their multimedia content and will probably thrive during this transition, and they probably already have a deal with Apple to be featured in iPad ads or at least ready for it all) will experience a dramatic revolution. As we digitally turn the pages of magazines, the separation and juxtaposition of still images and words will converge. As you flip through the front of the book mini articles instead of reading a paragraph here and there, instead you will hit play and watch a 1-2 minute multimedia piece with sound and a moving image. Images will no longer be stills. Everything will be moving and shot with whatever the current version of that RED camera thing is.....meaning (as I understand it) high def video shot with the capabilities of pulling a RAW image from that clip and that being used as your still (whatever stills are actually displayed). Esquire magazine has already been doing this and using cover images pulled from RED camera footage. Ads in "magazines" or whatever their new digital name shall become will all be moving images, features on this hot model, that actor or the next presidential hopeful will all be moving and words will soon be spoken to us...we will be sitting on that couch right next to them....so digitally up close and personal we can almost smell what kind of deodorant they wear. And isnt that just what our reality show crazed and Page Six gossip column obsessed culture has been fiending for?
Quite literally, I fear, journalism will become just another movie. And so I ask what will become of the still image? What will become of us photographers? Will we all have to adapt to this new RED RAW video footage, will we become film makers or multimedia makers instead of photographers? I must say it is all kind of exciting and interesting to ponder this and as we watch a visual revolution unfold in front of our eyes to watch what creative and adaptive people will create and present to us. But I cant help but to look at the music industry which has never really caught up or gotten back on its feet once the iPod revolution knocked it on its ass. Perhaps we can learn from them and know we just have to go with the flow and invest our money and creative thought in whatever the newest and latest digital cameras or instruments used to capture the world are. And I also cant help but to think about how this will affect the freelance photographer. Will those FOB stories that usually are hard won by that hungry up and comer journeyman photog be available? Or will these magazines and online venues have their own in house people shooting all this? What will happen to the freelance market? Will the top of the food chain just keep getting richer and fatter as they have the means and assistants and techs and studios, etc to handle all this as the bottom feeders fight and kill each other just to get a taste of the scraps as they struggle to stay afloat and working? Time will tell. But I do believe the time is now to start thinking about all this and to think about our own art and the tools we use to create it and what the future has in store for us. Will the iPad ultimately destroy some of us as it breeds a whole new evolution of thinkers, creators and seers? One I thing I am sure of is that all those digital design wizards will have to stay on their toes (and in the know) with the influx of new technology and programs to go along with it as they rake in that bling.
Here and here are some more examples of how the New York Times gets it and what I assume are some early samples of what this will look like with their Miami Art Basel series Something Small, Something Big.