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Does Photography really means anything to anyone in the digital age ?

by Yvette Depaepe 
Published the 19th of June 2020

Since the digital age and smartphone photography, the Art can be accessed by anyone at anytime. Without much thought, we can grab our cameras and rattle off pictures at a furious pace, and then share them with the world in seconds. 

But how much do we care about the photos we're taking?
Do they really mean anything to us?
Do we really care about other digital images we see on a daily basis?

But here on 1x,  all photos mean a lot to us and are picked out carefully by a team of  curators to preserve the high photographic quality.


'Art Gallery' by Babak Haghi

Each and every year people take over one trillion photos, collectively.
This amount is expected to grow by 100 billion photos every year.
That’s just insane.

Cameras and photography are accessible to billions of people in every corner of the planet, but the ability to overindulge in what used to be an art form that was not as easy to access has had some negative effects.

The digital age has enabled us to take photos of literally everything. But has the process of photography become so accessible that it's cheapened the value of the art? Most people in this world  do not care about images, and most people don't value photography or the power of a photograph. Many images are stored on our devices, or in the cloud, and there they will sit for eternity, or until we run out of storage space.

The value in photography comes from the emotions that great photos can cause, and we just don’t get that very much in the digital age because digital images come and go in the blink of an eye !

We've no need to be careful with our shots, because now we have SD cards that can hold thousand of images and not just the 24 or 36 on the analogue film rolls.

Digital photography is for the many, which is both a blessing and a curse.  It's easy to see why average people don’t value photography and photographs as much as in the past.

I remember back when we shot film; every image had to count, every photo had to be shot with intent, and man it was infuriating when you knew you just blew an exposure on your roll of film. We need to get back to thinking that way.

If we have a quick look on our hard drives, we will be amazed how many images are stored in the digital realm for no reason.

Photography in the digital age has become devalued to a disturbingly low level. Photography is abused to the point that real works of art are seldom seen publicly.  One more reason why 1x is such a valuable photo site.

The true value in photography comes from the emotions that great photos can cause, that's why only the best are picked out here on 1x to show them to the world, to those who really still care about photography in its pure Art form.

There is so much talent here that it was hard to compose a gallery.
But all are outstanding and contain so many emotions, may it be happiness, sorrow, originality, amazement and more. 
Whatever the category they belong to, I hope you'll enjoy...
Respect and congratulations to all the authors.


'I was here a long time and looked' by Herbert Reinecke



'Tribute to redhaired' by Huib Limberg



'reincarnation' by barbad rahnama



'Continuation of dreams' by XibiaoHuang



'Battle on Wheels' by Despird Zhang



'time to drive home' by Alexander Schönberg



'Myanmar temple' by Clas Gustafson EFIAP



'The Photographer' by Filipe Correia



'Amphitrite's Dreams II' by Maria Kaimaki



'pas de deux' by Libby Zhang



'Golden Girl' by Mirela Momanu



'On the way' by Marc Apers



'Shadé' by Andre du Plessis ARPS



'Synchronized look' by Robert Beliczay



'Happiness' by Gunarto Song



'Dancing Light' by Osher Partovi



n/t by Martina Dimunová



'Body Soul' by Katarina Grajcarikova



'Freckles beauty' by Martin Krystynek QEP



'Passion on the streets' by Yvette Depaepe



'in the rhythm of flamenco' by Eli Drzazga



'Never Give Up' by hardibudi



'Hope' by Monique



'Captivating Eyes' by Rana Jabeen



'Japanese fireflies' by Daniel Kordan



'Frozen in time' by Saskia Dingemans



'Heaven on Earth' by Marc Adamus




'yellow' by Norbert Maier


'Etive Rainbow' by Antonio Prado Pérez


Thanks very much for your efforts creating this thought-provoking article. :)
Yes, so true Yvette - and well done for pointing it out! Peter
Thanks for your appreciation, Peter!
Thanks a lot, dear Yvette, for telling us about your thoughts about photography in our times. I'm a little late with my post because I was waiting for some comments but there was no one to find. After two or three days without any comment I realized that I was not logged in. Users who are not logged in don't see any comments. So I logged in and saw there were a lot of thoughts of other users (as expected). I think that you are right, Yvette, that the value of photography has diminished to a disturbingly low level. And that most people around us are unable to evaluate a photograph. Regrettably. I have no idea how to generally solve this problem. A photographer who strives to be acknowledged as a good photographer should be very restrictive with the publishing of his work. It will be no problem if he takes thousands of photos each year but it will be a problem when he decides to publish most of them. As long as the photos are stored on the hard drive of his computer, no one has a reason to complain about the huge number. And, honestly said, it's a big advantage of digital photography that you can shoot at extremely low costs compared to analog photography. I would recommend that everybody who likes to share a photograph with the public puts himself the question: Is the photo worth to be printed on fine art paper (at costs about 10 or 20 Dollars / Euros ) or is it not ? If not, no publish. The idea of the founders of 1X to limit the number of published images was a great one. There is some room for improvements on the selection process but this can be discussed on another occasion. And now I wish you a happy birthday, dear Yvette. Enjoy the day ! Cheers, Hans-Martin
Thanks a lot for the birthday wishes and sorry for my late reply in spite of being logged in ;-) It happens to all of us and still surprises me sometimes too. Big thanks for your extensive comment and personal opinion, dear Hans Martin. Soon there will be another article about why some images are published and why some not. I hope to see many reactions too. Late but warm greetings, dear friend!
Dear Yvette! It is a truly beautiful article. Thanks and compliments to the authors.
Many thanks, dear Izabella!
Such a thought-provoking article. Many thanks Yvette. My biggest fear is that the wealth of photos being taken on digital devices will eventually disappear along with the priceless photographic heritage of history that will die with them. While we at 1X appreciate the art intent of many photographers we must also acknowledge the ignorance of those who continually 'snap' their everyday lives without understanding the value of what they are doing. How can we rescue this soon to be lost archive of our lifetime?
I still believe we can 'rescue' some archives of our lifetime by making prints of our very best works, or making photobooks. A precious thing to do ... And for family memories, well, I'm making calendars with collages for on each month for each of my 4 children and their families. Four different calendars by family. I'm doing this since years even before the digital era. They (and I) cherish those calendars like the good old photo albums from the past. Prints... prints... prints !!! Of course, that's my personal opinion ;-) Thanks for your fine reaction on this articl, my friend.
Great article, Yvette. Maybe we should think better about each photo we take, and why we take it. However, "art" is so varied and sometimes so subjective, and so difficult to define, that it is not easy to think of an initial intention of the author, but the unpredictable sensation it causes in each viewer and the final image arises from spinning it to an idea that was not previously intended in the shot, but originates from the construction of several images, sometimes unrelated to each other, producing in the observer an emotion or simply a feeling of beauty or awe, totally subjective and unpredictable. Congratulations on the article Yvette and a big hug Jois
True, Jois ... much more 'possibilities' and 'creativity' than in the analogue era. Well expressed about spinning ideas. But again, we should think better before shooting instead of going for 'fast food' photography. Therefore, the value of sites like 1x - inspirational and well thought work - is priceless. Thank you so much for writing your opinion and big hug to you too, my friend.
Great photos. Great post. Congratulations Yvette...
Thank you, Emine ;-)
A very interesting article and one that poses a few questions, one question I have asked myself is would I have taken up photography if it wasn't for digital capture. I can't say for sure but I have only been taking photos for just over eight years but if I had discovered just how addictive photography can be maybe I would have started taking pics in the age of film. I think there are different kinds of photographers, those who take it seriously and want to take amazing images and casual photographers who just want to take snapshots, but then hasn't that always been the case? I recently spoke to someone who has been taking photos for many years and he gave me some good advice, slow down take your time and discipline yourself not to rattle off loads of shots, get the shot you want in as few frames as possible. Coming here to 1x has shown me that a lot of photographers consider this an art and there are memorable images that will stay with me so maybe you are right that digital photography has devalued photography to a certain degree, there are just so many many mediocre images out there it is sometimes off putting wading through them looking for the great images.
Thank you for your comment in depth, James! Not rattling off loads of shots is well expressed and makes me smile because so true ;-).
Thanks a lot, dear Yvette for this great article , and for publishing my photo . A lovely weekend . Regards ,Sas
My pleasure, dear Sas ... Warm greetings, Yvette
Thank you for this excellent article that tells the truth. Have a nice weekend, dear Yvette. Best regards. :)
Glad you like this article, Francesco! Food for thougths ;-)
My pleasure, dear Yvette! Yes, definitely food for thoughts... :-)
Excellent article Yvette. Another problem is how photography is consumed today by the general public. At the time film photography, to see a photo you had to print it. Besides the visual power, a tactile connection is created with the photo, you can touch it, hold it in your hands, just like a book. Now the photos are seen on the small screen of the phone, a second or less, which diminishes its power. Most people don't even have a pc anymore to see the photo on a big monitor. The digital age has also changed the way photography and art are consumed in general.
Exact and so true, Cristian! That's why talking about 'fast food' photography ... (overconsuming). One doesn't get 'fat' but jaded and insensitive. The excitement of holding prints or a photo book although remains for those respecting and loving this Art. Prints also are a way to keep up photography in its purest form like before the digital era. Thanks for sharing your personal point of view, my friend.
Thank you so much, Xibiao Huang. Allow me to translate your feedback the best I can for our readers: "The power of 1x is that there are many great artists here. This is real photography, not just photography. I joined to 1x to learn, to get inspired and it opened up another world and vision on photography. Thank you dear hard working friend Yvette."
@ Yvette Dapaepe well translation except one : "This is real photography, not just photo shooting". Thanks for having put up this wonderful collection and let me be part of it!
Thanks for the correction, dear friend... The Google translator doesn't always takes account of affinities ;-)
What I got from here: The harder of using our brain, the better of generating photography. Thanks to Yvette!
Big smile here, Leah! Well thought and said ;-)
For me, a photo that touches and sticks is a good photo, and it will be recognized as such. You have to be at the right place at the right time, force, plan it or just be lucky. The accessibility to photography by so many people on now common devices increased the hit rate. But the exceptional remained the exceptional, the bar just raised.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Yvette. I simply don't see a negative effect. We live in a more visual world now, people want to show others their view on things. Photographic art remained art and the amount of people interested in it rather grew very significantly than it became less. It's now harder to stand out, just because more talents are discovered today. Not a bad thing in my view.
Thanks for giving your personal point of view, Mike... Have a great weekend ahead! Cheers, Yvette
Great reply Mike, and I'd like to add my congrats to Yvette, for such a good thought provoking article! But I disagree with you in one respect, there IS a negative effect from the huge and easy mass creation of images, and that is the herd instinct to emulate the ones that are most popular for precisely that, popularity. Whether it is to get published in the 1x 'style' or likes on IG, the result is conformity to a perceived acceptability. Personally, I believe it's the limitations that provoke real creativity, whereas 'easy' creates unthinking conformity.
Now it's getting even more interesting, Peter! :-) I believe art needs to provoke, distinguish from the established. By copying the successful you may receive temporarily appreciation. It's even easier to stand out form a uniform style in photography, but the challenge to touch your audience with your work remains. On the other side, successful concepts are successful for a reason, whether it's just a trend or a scheme that rings the bell for viewers. I do a lot of research before travelling, but ultimately my goal when going to a hot spot for photography is to come back with something different, hopefully even better. I'm not always happy with my achievements, because sometimes the well known is already the best you can get. As said, for a reason. Swarm intelligence :-)
Thanks for pointing out your personal vision on the negative effect. So strongly and well expressed. I wish I could master the English language like you do ;-) And thanks for joining this most interesting discussion. Cheers, Yvette
Your article does illuminate a key problem = fast food photography, meaning that with cell phone cameras, the art and patience that were the hallmarks of our artwork have been devalued. Hence, curated websites like are so important as they winnow down the fodder and highlight images that are beautiful, artistic, difficult to capture and meaningful. I wish 1x was more widely advertised and visited by more people around the globe. Photography, as in truly artistic and symbolic photography, is still so important as a way to open the window on our world and its beauty and its problems.
Many thanks for your comment in dept, Jeff! 'Fast food photography' is a very adequate comparison. Proud to be part of 1x and to 'manage' the magazine. Best greetings, Yvette
It's very nice that my photo is part of your Yvette article. What matters is passion and sharing it.
True, Eli !!! Thanks for your fine reaction...
Great article Yvette, with much food for thought. Warmest regards, Patrick
Yep food for serious thoughts, haha. Glad you like it and thanks for your feedback, dear Patrick!
Very well put together and thought provoking article Yvette. The advancement in technology and easy access to equipments has definitely increased huge numbers of photos shot and shared . But its still heartwarming to see work which evokes emotions . Hats off to all those dedicated artists ! Great collection of top quality and different styles of images as usual. Thank you for including my photo as well. Thank you :)
It is good to provoke a little the photographers' mind ;-) Thanks for your fine feedback and appreciation, dear Rana!
Really happy to be a part of this wonderful article! Thank you soo much dear Yvette! Much appreciated!
You're welcome Alexander... An article as food for the photographic soul ;-)
Dear Yvette, you raise the important questions. For those of us who start their photographic experience at the time where we used films, each photo meant a lot as it was a time-consuming process. To have a photo developed was a non-instant process. The digital photography changed it all. However, for the individual photographer who cares about his work, and has his own say, the difference between than now is in technology which can accelerate and improve processes but not create them or add any personal or emotional value to them. Great article, and you have selected wonderful photos that demonstrate the quality and diversity of 1X, My compliments. Have a great weekend.
Thanks a lot for your feedback and compliment, dear Arnon. It was intensive to write this article but also pleasant to put the real Art in the spotlights and a real treat to gather outstanding images for the gallery. I could have go on and on and on, but limited in space to keep it captivating. Fine weekend ahead to you too... Yvette
Well said Yvette - A wonderful collection of very fine images. I come from a time when a photographer would not just look at an image but feel it's power. Anyway you are to young to remember film. Congratulation top work.
Thanks Daniel ... Big smile here! Too young to remember film !!! Well, that's a huge compliment for a 70 years old lady, haha. I switched to digital 20 years ago after thousands of filmrolls and many many years in darkrooms. I enjoyed writing this article a lot and appreciate your comment a lot, my friend. Have a great weekend ahead... Yvette