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  How Technology Has Affected Professional Photography  

Monday, 03 September 2018

By Aishah Afandi

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 3 (Bernama) -- “It is difficult to run a business when technology out there is greater then what we have in here,” laments businessmen Lee Chi Meng, 68.

This veteran photographer, who has been running a photography studio under the name Dream Photo Studio since 1993 in the heart of the city, said it is impossible to compete with online photo services.

He said the most significant difference between today and two decades ago is that people do not need to come to a studio to print their photos or even take a family portrait.

“People do not print at photo shops anymore. They would rather print their photos at photo kiosks or just post them on Instagram.

“One reason we are still in business is that people still need to get a passport photo for purposes such as applying for a visa,” Lee lamented.

The digital boom has not only affected small players but also dominant industry player Kodak.  

Kodak, which dominated the photographic film industry in the 20th century, faced a financial struggle between 1996 to 1999 due to declining sales of photographic film and its slow transition towards digital photography.

In its attempt to turn around, the company shifted its focus to digital photography and printing.

However, embracing basic digital technology in today’s world is not enough as it has been advancing at a fast pace.

“The younger generation has switched from the traditional album book to Instagram, a photo and video-sharing social networking service over the past five years, and those who want a photo book would opt for the Photobook application,” Lee pointed out.

The main reason is the cost saving, as it can be done via mobile phone and is individually customised.

Not only have these old-time photo studios suffered a loss of photo printing customers, they have also had to face the challenges of online shops selling cameras and photography-related items.

“Cameras, flash, bags and other items are not selling well either. At some point, I asked my son to sell an item on his social media platform if it has not been sold in the store over some period of time,” he said.

Lee said it is still tough out there as many stores sell at lower prices and some bigger ones even offer payment in instalments.

With declining sales, Lee, who previously owned two adjacent shop lots, has had to downsize and operate a shop with his son.

“I could not hire people. It is a tough business and we are doing all we can to sustain it. Rent is also expensive,” he said.

The scenario faced by Lee is not unusual today as technology and e-commerce catch up.

As photography tools are advancing every second coupled with Artificial Intelligence, beautification mode, multiple lenses and filters, the younger generation are keener on getting their pictures online.

And many photo shops have had to either downsize or close down and venture into new areas.

As for these businesses, they either have to adapt or change their business model into something that can fit into the demand of today’s market.

A good example is dobiQueen, a 24-hour laundry self-service that started as a photo studio under the name of Foto-Zzoom, but today is one of the biggest laundry franchises with 39 outlets in Kuala Lumpur, the Klang Valley and Selangor.

While the place has been changed into a laundry service shop, it still maintains a small portion of the shop for those who want to print instant pictures.

This is a sample of business transition fitting into the latest market demand as fast-moving technology changes the landscape of the traditional businesses which we grew up with.

However, Chew Win Win, a professional photographer for about a decade, said even though technology is advancing rapidly, traditional or analogue photography should be conserved and never be forgotten.

“It is not just a picture, it's is a priceless beauty of art and is irreplaceable by digital photography.

“Nothing can compare with a traditional darkroom print as the quality and details of an optical print on photo paper are much finer than a digital Inkjet print,” she said.



Fauziah Mahu Giatkan Seni Lukisan Batik Untuk Kanak-kanak

Wednesday, 17 October 2018

KUALA LUMPUR, (Bernama) -- Menyaksikan hasil lukisan Fauziah Yahya di ruang lobi sebuah hotel di Kuala Lumpur baru-baru ini, apa yang terlintas di fikiran adalah ‘hiasan untuk bilik nurseri.’

Sembilan ekor ‘keluarga’ comel kucing berwarna-warni dilukis sedang tergolek bersantai memandang...


Kesucian Al-Quran Diutamakan Di Nasyrul Quran

Tuesday, 16 October 2018

Oleh Salbiah Said

PUTRAJAYA (Bernama) -- Bukan mudah untuk mengekalkan kedudukannya sebagai kilang percetakan al-Quran yang kedua terbesar di dunia, selepas Madinah, Arab Saudi.


Fatty Liver: Are Prescribed Medications The Culprit?

Monday, 15 October 2018

(Last of a Two-Part Interview)

By Salbiah Said

PETALING JAYA, Oct 15 (Bernama) -- There are currently no medications approved specifically for the treatment of fatty liver, doctors say.


Fatty Liver: The Silent Epidemic

Wednesday, 10 October 2018

(First of a two-part interview)

By Salbiah Said

PETALING JAYA, Oct 10 (Bernama) -- Over the past three decades, Malaysia has become the fattest country in Asia, with nearly half the Malaysian adult population now overweight or obese. Along with...

Issue 230   Issue 230
 English Version      Versi B. Melayu  

Sultan Nazrin presents 32 Islamic Education Excellent Awards in Perak

IPOH -- Sultan Perak Sultan Nazrin Shah today attended the Islamic Education Excellent Award presentation for the Perak state level for 2018. Also present at the ceremony held at the Institut Tadbiran...


"Komitmen lain halang saya hadiri sesetengah program" - Faizal Azumu

IPOH -- Menteri Besar Perak Ahmad Faizal Azumu hari ini menjelaskan komitmen yang banyak dalam usaha memajukan negeri antara faktor beliau tidak dapat memenuhi undangan pelbagai pihak untuk menghadiri program-program yang dianjurkan mereka.

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