The Bigger Picture: Visual Archives and the Smithsonian
The Billionaire Club . . .
What photography is, how it works, and the ways it has become indispensable in our lives are difficult to pin down. The medium itself keeps changing and trying to figure out how is what keeps click! photography changes everything interesting to work on and read. But if there is no single way that we make, use, and evaluate images, if there’s no single way to even talk about them, maybe one thing we can do is try to quantify them. So, here’s a quick sampling of photo facts I found on a website called itfacts.biz:
- · The US digital camera market to reach 40 million in 2008
- · 67% of US households had digital cameras in 2006
- · 75% of European and Asian wireless subscribers had cameraphones in 2006
- · 20% of digital camera owners exercise their artistic skills
- · 80% of new mobile phones sold in the UK are cameraphones
- · 11% of Americans have more than 10,000 digital photos
- · Ukraine is to become third largest digital camera market in Central and Eastern Europe
- · 80% of Americans bought a disposable camera even though they had a regular camera at hand
- · 90% of all professional photos taken in 2010 will be digital
But, as someone who organizes projects about visual culture, there’s one number that I’m always curious about: how many pictures get taken in a single day, or year? In pre-digital times, I suppose one way to answer that question might have involved counting rolls of films sold. With the rise of digital photography, while picture taking got easier, counting pictures taken got trickier. If you subscribe to the belief that “we are all photographers now”—the title of an interesting project that William Ewing, director of the Musée de l'Eysée, in Lausanne, Switzerland, organized a few years back—the number of photos made daily must be enormous. And, it turns out that someone is trying to keep track of that: Steve Hoffenberg, Director of Consumer Imaging Research at Lyra Research Inc. in Massachusetts. I’ve come across his name often in the media, and so I invited Steve to write a piece for click!. What he has to say about how many people are taking pictures and how many they produce is mind-boggling. See for yourself.