Has Digital Diminished The Value of Photographs?

When established magazines and news sites shamelessly pilfer images online without permission, we know we have reached a point of no return: the value associated with a photograph has been permanently diminished to zero. The reasoning goes something like this: “Since anyone with a decent enough digital camera can take this [snap]shot, it therefore has no monetary value and I can use it on my site freely.”

And truth be told, in some ways they may not be that far off the mark. Digital cameras have made it so easy to take high quality snapshots of newsworthy events by almost anyone who can aim and press the shutter release button. For well-covered events, there are many such snapshots for a news magazine to choose from. These snapshots won’t necessarily win a Putlitzer Prize, but they are good enough to illustrate the story for the day. And tomorrow is another day and we’re in search for the next photo, yesterday’s already forgotten, with the photographer feeling slightly used and discarded.

Can all photographers, pro and amateur alike, band together to stop this? John Harrington over at BlackStar Rising think we can in an article titled, “Putting the Value Back into Photography”, but readers claim it’s now way too late to do anything about it? What do you think?

Read the article at: BlackStar Rising.