I’m writing a book chapter just now about personal digital image collections, and the rapidly changing (changed?) imaging environment we now utilise. I was reminded of this article by Tom Ang (a photographer and presenter who writes some very accessible introductory books to digital imaging) which featured in the guardian a couple of years ago, but still packs a punch.
In 1998, 67bn images were made worldwide. We know that because 3bn rolls of film were sold. It is impossible to be accurate, but with a world population of digital cameras exceeding a third of a billion on top of millions of film-using cameras still in use, it is likely that more pictures are taken every year than in the previous 160 years of photography put together. In addition to the other pollutions we have unleashed on ourselves, we may well have to thank digital photography for giving us image pollution.