What happens when we completely run out of ideas for pictures? When every iteration of an Avedon, Sander or Atget has been made? When every conceivable process and filter has been tried? Instead of well-made you get popular or infamous. You get book deals for blogs that scan sandwiches, that have disgusting fattening food pictures and run unflattering pictures of people who shop at Walmart.
Seth Godin wrote about this recently when talking about books that are cultural touchstones:
We can probably all agree that more than half of the culturally important cookbooks printed on paper have already been printed. From the Joy of Cooking to Julia Child to The Thrill of the Grill, there are some essential cookbooks that have laid a foundation for most that followed. Now that the original cookbook market has been decimated by TV, by free recipes online and by the growth of the ios app, it’s hard for me to imagine the pile of cookbook titles that millions read and trust to dramatically increase in size.
Similarly with photography, the culturally significant pictures are replaced with anything that reaches lots of people. That’s why something like this makes sense:
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