David Bailey should go back to school…

I just read this article on the guardian.co.uk:

Joss Cantius in shot taken by David Bailey on a Nokia N86. Photograph: David Bailey

Joss Cantius in shot taken by David Bailey on a Nokia N86. Photograph: David Bailey

David Bailey’s Nokia experiment and the future of photography

I was obviously intrigued by the title and by the strapline: “It’s no surprise that David Bailey took some great shots on a Nokia – but will mobiles ever take the place of standalone cameras?” In fact I’ve been waiting for a camera phone good enough to be that wonderful device does all that I can throw in my handbag and have on the move…so I was more than interested that this could reveal me that very thing! But I was mostly outraged at the level of arrogance and ignorance that David Bailey shows about his knowledge of digital photography and how GREAT images can be made by DIGITAL photography that are UNIQUE, ARTISTIC, NON-PIXELATED!!!!

Here are some of the highlights, but please read the full article here

“Until recently, camera phones have been the snapshot camera’s poor relation, but some have reached the point where they can take serious pictures, even at night. That, at least, is Nokia‘s sales pitch for the N86. It commissioned David Bailey to produce Alive at Night, an exhibition of photographs taken with the mobile phone to promote its launch on Orange.”

“he reckons that with digital rather than film “you get a loss of quality, because when you blow it up, it goes to pixels, which is not the same as grain. It’s a different technology. It’s a different way of looking at the world.” (well fair enough, but it doesn’t have to look ‘pixelly’…you’d think he know that? The technology is out there…)

“[Digital] is great for snaps and things like that, it’s fine for street photography,” (well how gracious of you David – is that all it’s good for???)

“Bailey remains unimpressed by the rise of digital cameras, or by the iPhone becoming the most popular camera on Flickr. “What’s Flickr?” he asks.” (ignorance…???)

“”To me, digital is the best thing that’s happened because it’s made what I do more unique,” says Bailey. “Everybody else’s pictures look the same.” (i.e. digital pictures ALL look the same!!!…arrogance???)

Well, perhaps I’m being unfair here, and I am clearly editing to get my point across (again, do read the full article and make your own mind up). And of course, not everyone should be an expert on digital photography – some people should remain experts in their field…and it could just be the way the writer edited David’s words too…BUT JUST DON’T ‘BAG’ US ALL IN THE PROCESS MR BAILEY!

So I’ll finish with a positive, as does David, at the end of the article – most sensible thing he’s said all day!

“It’s funny how in the end, technology doesn’t always make things better, it just makes things more accessible. It doesn’t make photography any better. But in the end, it’s good: it adds another tool. Anything that makes people think or go in a new direction, it’s good.”


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