Last summer I ran into the first photography teacher I had in the States. He was visiting London and we sat down over a pint. We spoke about the state of the photography industry, the Instagramification of consumer photography and the future of digital photography. And while we agreed that digital photography has been a good thing for both the industry and photographers, one negative effect it brought was the technology's tendency to turn people into lazy photographers.
In the mid-'90s when I was a teenager I first learned to shoot on film. Rolls of 36 exposures were my norm and I chose each shot judiciously as film was expensive to buy and develop. And while I welcomed digital photography -- as it lowered the cost of being a photographer -- I (and my former teacher) began to notice that it also seemed to make young, budding photographers lazy. After all, why take the time to frame the shot and "edit in camera" when you can just shoot off a hundred snaps and then choose the best of them? Digital photography, we both agreed, had taken the discipline and patience out of the art of photography.
As fate would have it, months later I met Gary Cohen, photographer and Senior Computer Scientist at Adobe (who, since joining the company in 1999, has worked on PhotoDeluxe, Photoshop and the Creative Cloud), and he told me he had observed the same thing in photography -- younger photographers that lack the discipline to be selective with their shots and edit in the camera. But he was working on a solution: an app called Thirty Six.