When Daguerreotypes were introduced in 1839 the French painter, Paul Delaroche is said to have declared “From today, painting is dead!”. Today I read comments from quite a few photographers (I use the term loosely in this context) declaring that photography is dead.
I’d stumbled on this little gadget, the ‘Arsenal’ via Kickstarter.
I’m not a big buyer of kit, never have been (I use what I have until it dies and then I replace it), and I rarely look at the myriad of new gadgets on Kickstarter or elsewhere. The world is full of another bloody ‘only tripod head you’ll ever need’ or yet another ‘revolutionary camera bag that will change your life’. I really don’t have the time to spend my life looking at all that crap I don’t need anyway!
However, the Arsenal caught my eye as it promised to actually do something that might be of benefit to many, something that might stop it ending up on a shelf or in a cupboard once the novelty of a new gadget has worn off for most.
Rather than me go into massive detail, in short it’s an AI device that links to your camera via mobiles and it offers a number of interesting features. Take a look at the video below or click here to see the features on the website to find out what it does.
As someone who learned the craft of photography back in the days of film, darkrooms and chemicals, before MSDOS never mind graphical interfaces, back when the nearest thing we had to Photoshop was a piece of card and scissors to dodge and burn silver prints, back in the days when the idea of digital photography was (almost) science fiction, I’ve seen a lot of technical advances in the medium.
As I looked into the product a bit deeper I found lots of supportive comments for the product on Kickstarter and YouTube, and as is normal, there were also quite a few negative comments from f*ckwits. Including a number of statements directly or indirectly implying that this one product signals the death knells for photography. The f*ckwits completely failed to see the comedic irony of the utter nonsense they spout. They clearly don’t understand that the mechanical and technological advances achieved via generation upon generation of cameras are what has led to the electronic device they now hold in their hand.
I imagine the commenters to fall into one or more of these categories…
- they (claim) to shoot (how I hate that word) only in manual, likely trusting the camera meter that would give them the same settings in AE or AS (i.e. they don’t get that there is little difference between the three if you really understand exposure)
- they once attended and overpriced bullsh*it course entitled along the lines of ‘how to unleash the power of your camera in manual mode’, ‘you’re not a real photographer unless you do it in manual’, or ‘how to be a smug bast*rd know all using manual’
- they think that Petapixel is the font of all photographic knowledge
- they use Photoshop to correct their f*ck ups because they really don’t know as much as they think they do
- they completely overcook their HDR images because it’s sh*t like that which gets them likes from their ‘friends’ on Facebook
- they’re far too stupid to realise that this type of AI is highly likely to become a standard feature in the next generation of cameras they are going to be dashing down to the store to buy when the reviews start to appear on Petapixel
- they fail to understand that if everyone had thought like them the history of photography would begin and end with the Daguerreotype
- they’ve never seen, let alone used, a film camera
- they’re just basically an all round dick/troll about everything
- and, most importantly of all they don’t see that this and any other camera equipment they use is a nothing more than a tool – the most important thing is how and what you point the tools you use at when making an image
Would I use this?
Yes, though I think it would overkill for me personally for day to day use. However, but features like the handling of long exposure, image stacking and time-lapse do have some appeal.