Photo vs Video – Part 1

A bit of an opinion piece this week…

I was involved in a debate a little while ago, and the topic was, “Will video overtake photo in importance?” Cisco Systems predicted back in 2017 that around 79% of all content consumed on the internet by 2020 would be video. Others estimated that 65-70% of all content consumed on the internet then was video. Today, particularly in the world of Covid-19, those numbers are higher still. You’d think that this is bad news for photographers, but I don’t think so.

For this post, I’ll go through the background to my answer in the debate, a) because it splits it into shorter chunks and b) because it gives me something to write about next week…

With the advent of cheaper digital cameras and then the camera phone, photography became accessible to millions, if not billions of people. That is a wonderful thing. Memories that would otherwise have been missed are being captured and people are engaging with a medium that I love and enjoy. Yes there are frustrations. I often hear the dreaded words, “I’ll take a photo – let me get my phone.” Noooooo! You mean camera, even if it is on your phone!

Then there’s the ‘everyone’s a photographer syndrome’. Having a camera does not make you a photographer, just as much as having a piano does not make you a pianist. Putting in thousands of hours of practice, whatever your chosen field, is what makes you a photographer, pharmacist, physicist etc. But I digress.

The same has happened with video. Easy availability of equipment that allows people to use and importantly, share video makes it a new and exciting medium. The still image has been accessible for a while, and now people have the opportunity to experiment with something different, they are doing so with gusto. It helps that the results they get ‘out of the camera’ aren’t, at first glance, half bad. Combine that with a ‘golden age’ of technological development (the internet making online learning far easier, sharing being so easy, and so many people developing tools to help with the process) and you can understand why video has soared in popularity.

But I believe that there will come a point where it will tail off, just as has been the case for photo. We will reach saturation point with badly lit, low quality (however you judge that, though one of the major things for me is poor audio) and ill-conceived videos. They’ll be fine for casual occasions, but there will always be a need for professional videography. After all, just because I have a phone that can take ‘HD’ video doesn’t make me a videographer, does it?

Much more to say on this subject, but I’ll leave you hanging for now. Until next week…




A wonderful serenity has taken possession of my entire soul, like these sweet mornings of spring which I enjoy with my whole heart. I am alone, and feel the charm of existence in this spot, which was created for the bliss of souls like mine. I am so happy, my dear friend, so absorbed in...



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I'm based just south of Cambridge, UK, but love to travel. I shoot in my studio and on location - let me know what works for you!