Today I made my first visit to the camera club. Two things of great interest there:
The first was a presentation by a photographer who works for AP and Getty. It was interesting to note that his post processing echoed mine. He corrected for saturation, clarity and a few other parameters, globally just as I do - no fiddle farting around (as my late aunty would have said).
The second was that included in the show and tell element were cellphone images, projected to huge sizes. They were excellent. That really knocks on the head any notion that cellphone images are in any way inferior.
In discussion, the pro stated that he uploaded his images to the agencies via FTP and uploaded about 70% of the photo he took. He didn't just blaze away like so many amateurs would. I'm always suspicious of photographers that guarantee or claim to take more than a hundred photos of a wedding. At the end of the day, the bride and groom want the traditional posed shot with the priest at the altar or near enough then the rest just go in an album. Nobody wants the torture of going through an album with more than 20 or so images.
Another thing the pro stated was that he lived with two other guys and that it was getting harder every year to make money from photography. Judging from his living arrangements, very hard as it didn't seem he made enough to pay rent and his attire didn't exude wealth either. And all that while agecies were willing to fly him from one side of the county to the other. It seems the skills are in demand but the work is expected to be done almost gratis.
If there is a message from tonight's presentation, it's that photography isn't a worthwhile income no matter how good you are at it and that it's not worth wasting too much time post processing. The balance of a photo is 99% composition/exposure and only 1% post processing.
Another message is that DSLRs just aren`t needed. Indeed, the pro`s comments on flashes when I commented that I thought the Canon 580EX2 represented very poor value for money was that he agreed because in his opinion manufacturers like to load things with features in order just to charge more without the features even being necessary. Indeed, the pro didn't use flash equipment at all. He used to until it all got spoiled by water and now does not. Again that suggests he cannot afford to replace it. His available light photos indoors were wonderful. Bang goes the daft notion that flashes are really needed or that expensive flashes are essential.
From my high-speed photography, I used a 580EX2 on 1/128th power only. I could have done exactly what I did with an elderly Vivitar 283. For my other photography, the on-camera flash is just fine. High ISOs eliminate the need of flashes in many instances. Indeed, the pro found carrying flashes to be cumbersome and not carrying them to be liberating.
For myself, I still believe that DSLRs are the dodos of the camera world. Indeed, the smartphone takes such great images that its getting really hard to justify the extra cost of anything else.