There’s an awful lot of banter on the internets about how the photography industry is changing (some even call it “a race to the bottom”) and how “anyone can be a photographer.” While both things are true, in a sense, both require qualification before simply lobbing them willy nilly into the ether. Is the photography industry changing? Absolutely, but, it’s not dying like the naysayers would lead you to believe; anymore than the film industry died with the invention of the VCR as Jack Valenti so ridiculously predicted. Let’s face it, pencils, paints and brushes are inexpensive, but there was only one Picasso. Robert Rauschenberg used found objects to create an incredibly influential body of work. So, while, yes, anyone can walk out of B+H and call themselves a photographer, not everyone with a nice kit can make great pictures.
For such a “dying” industry, we never seem to run out of finding truly amazing photography to inspire us. And, while some of it is being done by names you know, or at least have heard of, more and more stunning work is coming completely out of left field and just bowls you over with it’s style, vision and narrative. Just this year, we’ve seen careers take off for photographers like Kirsty Mitchell, who created a world of queens and fairies, and Ian Ruhter, who built himself a time machine. We would love to see the career of Ukrainian photographer Oleg Oprisco take off as well. His wonderful conceptual photographs are illustrations come to life from some far off fairytale world where hope, love and loss share a common volume, existing in the exact same moment. When I look at Oprisco’s photographs and I am reminded of a wonderful film called The Fall, which takes place with one foot in our world and the other in world we heard of once as children.