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Thursday, 20 September 2012


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90% of bad photos were shot in 2011.

"September 24, 2012"?

...80% of them by kids with cell phones who later deleted the images without ever having looked at them, much less shown them to anyone else.

The madness of digital photography is proven!

Many images, few keepers.

I wonder what percentage of all the 2011 photos can be considered "Art". Not that it matters to the people taking them, but it would nice to have a clear and useful definition/phrase for non-art photography (tablets, phones, etc) versus art-photography. A few months ago I read an article (I'm sure it was on TOP) that listed 10 or so criteria that had to be met for something to be considered "art".... did I dream that?

Wow that's quite a statement, I just took a photo of it with my cell phone so I can share it with my friends.

All photos taken by homo sapiens have been made in the last 186 years - only a 1000th of his existence on earth ...

as disturbing as the distribution of wealth statistics.

this is absolutely amazing.

97% of all statistics are made up.

"'September 24, 2012'"?

Magazines very often are actually published in advance of the formal issue date. Many magazines are as much as a month ahead, such that, say, the October issue will appear on newsstands in early September.


And half of all the people that ever lived, is still alive today (...)

Neil - wow, lots of use of the a-word there....

Mike, maybe sometime you could write a post on the allure, even eroticism, that pressing a shutter-release seems to have. I believe many of us feel it. I've always been amazed when my wife comes back from some travels with several hundred shots... that she never looks at again!

We live in a golden age of photography. While most pictures are bad, the sheer volume of images being made means that the absolute number of good photos is likely to be bigger than ever. Results are more important than hit rate.

Some more mind-blowing photography statistics here.

The "cover date" on magazines at least used to be (I haven't followed the industry closely for a while) the date they were to be pulled from sale. So it was basically always in the future.

Assuming Fortune is roughly right -- it won't remain true for long, the rate of picture taking is not declining.

(In other news, 13% of the the people who have ever lived are alive today.)

Most photographs are not intended to be art, and it's pretty likely that (at least so far) the impact of photography on society has been very largely in its reporting and scientific roles, not its artistic role. I don't mean to deny the artistic role either -- just to point out that two largely separate things are going on, and it makes no sense to try to insult the artistry of people's snapshots.

(Only "largely" separate, since the best of photojournalism does seem to rise to being significant art.)

186,00 years worth of Homo Sapiens?

I thought the earth was created in 4004 B.C.

"September 24, 2012"?


It's my birthday, you see

It's the great unwashed invading photography. They are probably all on welfare and shooting with government issued cell phone cameras. You can bet they want free processing too.

Shot in 2011?

I gather it's taken this long to count them all?

This must go down as one of the most tell-tale truisms in the history of photography. We have long known that we're in the digital age, but it takes something like this to fully comprehend the reality. Come to think of this: 10% of photos ever taken?! This one sentence is the most distilled, brief and yet layered 'fact' about state of photography in the digital age.

Once i was discussing purchase of a 5D MIII with a friend and i said its fuckin too big. To that, he said, don't worry, no one will notice you...every dog has a digital SLR nowadays.

It's because of those high fps rates on modern cameras.

Wow, but obviously they did not include those in my hard drives and those still in my cameras...

My made up statistics say 99.99% were shot on cell phones; 0.00000001% will be remembered longer than a week.

Ten percent of all visual persiflage was created in 2011.

Dear Sean,

Hah! beat you by four days!

pax / da birthday boy

Dear Folks,

Photography is not primarily an art medium and hasn't been since before the Kodak was invented.

To borrow two phrases from the art world:

"This is not about you."

"You are not the audience."

Bemoaning the lack of artistic merit of most people's photography is as unseemly and inappropriate as complaining that their kids are ugly.

pax / Ctein

(who is an elitist but not a snob)

How interesting Fortune magazine said this. I have looked at issues from the 1930's and it is nice to see this publication is still around. They were a $1 per copy back then. Do you know anyone who made a fortune off of their 2011 hoard of digital pictures?

I don't doubt that for a minute!

From what I've seen on the www, it also represents the Bottom 10% of all photos taken.


Cheers! Jay

Happy birthday ctein.

I doubt that statistic. But only because of a private rule I observe: "if it hasn't been printed then it isn't a photograph".


56% of all statistics (and 83% of all difficult-to-check statistics) are made up on the spot.

But I'm sure that Fortune has a superb description of their methods for arriving at that number, along with lots of authoritative citations...

If you include video frames then it's probably closer to 47% (could not resist.) You've got population growth, smartphone growth and developing economies like China and India. But I suspect the hit to miss ratio for most is still the same as it ever was.



My niece, who is an "emerging" wedding photographer recently told me that she shoots 3,000 to 4,000 images per wedding. I was totally shocked by that number. When I shot weddings it was really pushing it to shoot 200 images. I've seen her work and it is very bland like a lot of photography I see these days. On the other hand people pay her for her work and comment on how wonderful it is. I also think that most new movies suck and most new music sucks. That makes me an official geezer at 54 years old

Happy Birthday, Ctein! :-)
BTW 24th Sept is my b'day too.

Yeah, I know papers can be dated in the future. Just thought it looked odd for a quote and probably should have included a smiley.
- Johnny Dahlén, October 1, 2012.

Dear Ctein

You share your birthday with the poet Stevie Smith

You also beat F Scott Fitzgerald and Linda McCartney by four days.
As a boy, I was inspired by sharing my birthday with Linda McCartney.
Had I known who F Scott Fitzgerald was back then, I might have been able to know where commas go without guessing

Oh but you should hear me on the tamberine and the triangle



and I'm certain it was 100%

How do they know this? Isn't it possible that 90 % of all the film sold between 1930 and 1970 was refrigerated and shot in 1982, for example?

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