The More Unfundable The Better…

So this is the setting for the question of digital verses film.  The real question faced by a photographer or journalist today is not of course the type of film that is inside their camera, although that matters. The real question is what’s inside their head. That has always been the question and will always be the question.

The quotation above is by Danny Lyon and comes from his 2007 article The End of the Age of Photography on his Bleak Beauty web site. I’ve read it before, and possibly even mentioned it elsewhere in the past, but was pleased to be reminded about it by James Pomerantz on his ‘A Photo Student‘ blog.  You may find it easier to read there than at the original location, especially if you reduce the width of your browser to get a sensible line length.

It’s an interesting piece not just for what it says but also because of who it was written by, and is basically about integrity. While I’d certainly argue and suggest that the conclusion he comes to could equally apply to someone who decided to shoot digital and print ink jet, fundamentally I’d agree with him that the most important thing is not to sell your soul to the devil, but to do

something that you believe in, and not something you think people want to hear.”

You may or may not as he suggests end up financially able to profit from it in your latter years (and of course as he says you may not live long enough) but money isn’t everything.  And I find it hard to disagree with his general principle:

The more unfundable the project is, the better.

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