Here's my honest reply........not trying to offend anyone either..
After shooting for several years with 35mm, medium and large format, and watching digital cameras come down in price and more applicable to actual shooting situations, I have seen it all the way through.. I saw it coming and now it's here.. The day when you had to pay 32,000.00 for a 6 megapixel camera that had a SCSI interface and limited to a bulky and heavy body that had in some cases a field of view crop of 2.0 ....and a slooooooow shutter lag time..as well as being limited to iso 80-200 are long gone..
Just imagine what the selling price of a D100 or a 10D would be 6 years ago with all the technology they have....the iso 100-3200, noiseless images at low iso's.... and acceptable when compared to fast film noise levels at higher iso's.. ...much shorter lag times etc etc.....and then you go into the next level up...the D2H's and the 1D series cameras that are remarkably fast....much like their film counter parts for the price of two or so top of the line film bodies..
7 years ago, I said to myself....I'll give digital another 5 years and by that time I might think about buying one....so 2 years ago, I picked up a Canon D30.....3 mp, a fairly long shutter lag...plastic outer body, but it came with a dinky little pop up flash.. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/frown.gif[/img] and I paid over 3k for it with all of the accessories...like a 399.00 160mb CF card! an exrtra battery and the battery grip... Last week, I shipped it out to a buyer for $432.00 .....the cost of my recent repairs to it...so, I sort of broke even with a worthless camera.. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/frown.gif[/img]
The problem I faced was from newspapers who bought their staff photographers digital cameras to cut down on the cost of film processing and time reduction of an image taken...to press......and I was up against these guys going to my editorial clients who I freelanced for....who I shot with film for....who didn't buy me a 20K digital set up......... I was losing money and I eventually lost my first business because of these guys who would underprice their work....and that became the "standard"......to shoot a job that I would normally charge $400.00 for but shoot it with additional lighting....and color correction etc.....this newspaper dstaff dude came out with a Nikon speedlight mounted directly to his camera...and shoot a 3 mg file and hand it over for $50.00 .
I took it on the chin and I had to regroup from my losses...and I still shot model portfolios and portfolio imaghe related things like head shots for local agencies or events for them and PR
firms, publishers etc.. but then the tragity of 911 happened what was left of my ecconomy... I worked veryt hard to regain some former clients after I was able to show them that their new freelancers don't give half a crap about lighting....which is the key to photography....not some nifty camera.....and because my lighting was better than their's, I found my nitch once again.. A few years later, the price of a quality digital camera came down and I now find myself competing once again but this time against hard up guys who like to shoot models for fun...because they get to see their skin fix....and are more than willing to do it for free......they give away all their work....and the rights to them.......in some cases, they never even have the model sign a release... and people are wondering why it is that I get upset with TFP / TFCD shooters when in many cases, they are truely ripping off the models when they give them images strait out of the camera...but they edit and retouch their picture and "hang it" on their website.....that looks completely different from the crap they give out to the models.. The lie that many use....is that they are doing this for free to "build their portfolios".... It doesn't take 2-3 years to build your portfolio when you aren't doing much of anything other than the same old sexy poses......because they have no intention of building their portfolio....they don't have one.....they have a website and not even measily 8x10 leather bound book.. They bait models into poseing them under the guise of shooting for their book....while all they produce is a bunch of crappy pictures where they try to undress the model with their camera.. ....and then they get all upset with me for haviong the audacity of pointing that out to them! They have their day jobs....why should they care...besides, they are in it for skin entertainment....and don't plan on charging for it anyway..
I was on chat with a photographer a few days ago..... he tells me that there is some guy....who has a large studio space...where several photographers from the region go to on the weekends and pay the owner of this $125.00 for their share of studio space.....and they get to shoot models who come in there and pay in some cases.....and mostly don't have to in many other cases...but the renters don't get a dime out of it..... and the model walks away with thousands of digital negatives on a CD ROM for free! I have seen the work....and it is good! They get to shoot with several different photographers and get the experience of doing that yet the photographers who all have day jobs.....go out there................what for? For fun? To be walked all over?? to pay models so that they can shoot them for images they will use to market themselves with....and say.... "Paid work only" on their websites without taking even a tip??? I can understand the occational workshop....I have taken part in a few in my area....or seminars held by commercial photographers about lighting techniques...etc.....but every weekend?? .....then he's like: ....""hey take a look at my pictures.....I got to shoot with "Model X" this weekend.....I'm such a stud......look at my great shots of her..... I even got to get her to take off her top! ....Oh what did you shoot this week..... a bunch of guys in in office?? You should get out sometime! "" Hmmm......thank god I don't have a family to neglect!
What does all this talk about TFP have anything to do about the transition between film and digital photography?? Everything. If one wants to become a photographer, he can learn for very little.... I still have cases of very old bad pictures.....along with my notes regarding my lighting set-ups and my camera settings... I spent thousands on processing costs, gas for travel to my labs....and printing contact sheets...and archival materials for slides.. I invested thousands of dollars in my B&W lab that I used partially for self education in shooting techniques... I sold that entire darkroom a few months back for $650.00 No one wanted it.... every place was over stocked with used darkroom equipment. ("junk")..... including Zone 6 enlargers...with Schneider lenses!
The cost of learning photography in the digital age is next to nothing....and you can manipulate the images like never before with the Photoshop CS....things that once ruined good pictures can now be erased. I liked how things were a few years ago before I was forced into going digital because of my competitors... I both love it and hate it..
This business of photography has changed.......a lot!