Bye-bye commercial photography (maybe)

Discussion in 'Casual Photo Conversations' started by Karim Ghantous, Jul 2, 2021.

  1. The kind of commercial photography that deals with new products might not exist in the foreseeable future. Already, we see a lot of CGI where we would have expected photography to generate the images. CGI now renders potato chip packets, electronic devices, cars, and goodness knows what else.

    I've already written about CGI models and this kind of thing before. But a lot of CGI tools are becoming democratised. E.g Unreal Engine 5.

    You can't put the cat back in the bag. If you just started out as a commercial photographer, maybe start learning UE and Blender. Personally I am a documentarian (e.g. portraits) so that stuff is not relevant to my specialty. But, the days of commercial photo studios (and their often extortionate prices) are going to come to a close. I don't think this shift will happen for a few years yet, but I sense that it is coming.

    Your clients won't cry for you, so take this seriously. Just know that CGI can do almost anything - although it doesn't mimic movement very well yet. You can model entire cities in software. CGI models don't turn up late, and in software, you can have infinite DOF, infinitesimal DOF, or anything in between. Make of all this what you will.
  2. My daughter went to one of the art institutes to study commercial photography (product).

    By the time she finished the program (some time ago now) the handwriting was already evident upon the wall (Tekel, etc)
  3. Only if we hadn’t been paying attention to an ever-changing world. As to the matter of end-of-photography warnings, perhaps something Mark Twain never said is relevant …
  4. Since everything (pretty much) is designed in 3D CAD, it's only expected that very good renderings will be used early in promotion. Heck, we were doing this 20 years ago. Few companies have products fully finalized and in production when they're announced. OTOH, I don't think actual photos are going away. You can usually tell the difference between a photo and a rendering, and a product doesn't have complete credibility until real photos exist, often with real people in them.
  5. Many products also require video for presentation on TVs and computers. So a good plan would be to study video in addition to still photography as wedding photographers have learned to do.
  6. A game engine isn't the right tool for the job if you're trying to replace product photography. What you want is a ray trace lighting engine and a reasonably skilled artist. The technology, and people who are good at using it, have been easily accessible for more than 15 years.

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