I’ve been hearing the argument about how cheap digital cameras haven’t destroyed the professional photography career-field for years now but I just don’t see it.
If you look at the history of photography than you will clearly see that as digital cameras became cheaper and more advanced, the ability for someone to make a living as professional photographer rapidly declined.
Just look at the number of job opportunities that have been eliminated because of the availability of cheap advanced digital cameras. Professional photographers use to be absolutely essential where-as now 75% of the jobs that use to be done by professional photographers are now done by ordinary people with high tech cameras.
-Jails or prisons used to have to hire professional photographers to come out an photograph prisoners.
-People use to have to go into actual photography studios to get family portraits done.
-Students use to have to go to the photography studio to get their school pics made.
-Parents use to take their kids to professional photographers every year for portraits.
-People use to spend a small fortune on different picture packages provided by professional photographers.
-Kids sport teams use to hire professional photographers for team portraits where-as now the coaches wife or one of the kids parents take the portraits to save money.
-Professional photography use to be an actual career choice in the military but now it’s simply combined into the numerous other career choices.
I could go on and on and on with examples all day but you should get the point. Cheap, high-tech, easy to use cameras didn’t destroy the photography industry but they have nearly destroyed the opportunity for a new person to become successful choosing photography as a career path.
I don’t know of even one single professional photography studio that hasn’t closed it doors years ago. The tons of jobs that use to be done by a professional photographers are now done by ordinary people. 10x’s more people now go into photography as a hobby than an actual career choice. 100x’s more people buy a camera as a useful tool or an additional helpful item than something to try an make a living with.
I also understand the argument about the need to interpret thermal images, however, IR cameras are becoming so advanced that the knowledge needed to use them is rapidly declining. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to use today’s IR camera’s on basic jobs like finding moisture or air intrusions.
I’m not trying to say the thermal imaging industry is dying. I’m actually thinking it will be 20x’s larger within 20 years from now. Just look at the number of companies that have already started using their own in-house IR cameras vs. hiring outside professional thermographers. Potential jobs for professional infrared thermographers has already started it’s decline.
Thermal Imaging is taking the same path that digital photography has taken which is great for the manufactures and people selling the equipment but not so much for the people who are trying to make a career out of using it.
We also have the argument about how prices want fall all that much lower on high-end cameras. The camera I use today obviously wasn’t available 10 years ago but one with similar resolution would have been over $40k. Basically similar resolution cameras were able to drop $33k in price in the past 10 years. At the rate of current technology advancements, it would almost be crazy to think we want have .05mk 320x240 IR cameras available in 10 years for way less than $1k.
Say what you want but all major indications point towards IR cameras becoming a cheap common tool used by all trades vs. remaining a high-end tool used by mainly professional infrared thermographers.
None of this is anything new. Technology advancements have been eliminating jobs and careers since the beginning of time. It just kinda sucks thinking my job might be next in line. Only time will tell.