3 things you NTK about modern photography

Back in the mists of time there was a period where only those with a bit of spare cash in their pockets could afford the equipment to be a photographer. Yeah, really.

But now we’ve all got the latest smart phone with a 316 million mega pixel camera and 74 times optical zoom anyone and their dog can enter the Sony World Photography Awards. True, you probably won’t win a dime, but you could feasibly enter.

However, with the advent of so much amazing affordable tech, the world of taking pictures has been changed forever. As well as the way we learn about it.

National Teaching Fellow and award-winning university lecturer Jonathan Worth (a hero to the photography world) had more than a few things to say to the BBC on this subject. And we think his opinions could be quite important to any budding camera fans out there.

Here are three things you need to know about modern photography in the 21st century, straight from the horse’s mouth.

1. School’s out

“I don’t think a classroom is an appropriate place to teach anymore.”

That’s a pretty revolutionary statement from Mr Worth there. He thinks traditional teaching mechanisms in photography have outgrown themselves and his latest class has removed itself from educational institutions altogether.

So the message here folks is that to truly learn how to take that perfect spontaneous snap, you have to get out there and learn from experience. There’s only so much you can take away from the classroom.

2. The experts don’t know nothin’

“When I first started to teach photography classes back in 2007 I recognised that I didn’t have all of the answers and I was going to need to ask for help from the photo community.”

Those so-called pros don’t know everything okay? They’re just as clueless (at times) as you are so don’t get pent up with frustration trying to copy your Annie Leibovitz’s or Dorothea Lange’s of this world. Everyone has their own particular style and that’s what makes a photo so great.

3. It’s all about the story

Worth thinks that it isn’t enough to take a good photo anymore as everyone has the equipment to “tell their own stories” and “every smartphone user is a potential witness, photographer and publisher” now, so the editorial photographer isn’t needed.

As a result the 21st century photographer needs to be even more vigilant in their search for the right subject and make the image really speak a thousand words.

Jonathan Worth is currently using techniques learned from running open classes to raise awareness of the muscle wasting disease Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. Read about his latest project here.

Read the full BBC interview here.

Now what?