Hero worship has always been a key element of photography but heroes are disappearing beneath the waves of the flood.These days you see somebody’s work you like or can emulate, and as the copyright law has gotten so weak, it is easy adapt it for your own direction.Today’s heroes are mostly packaged and presented to the public as the faces to follow and whose faces represent photography today.

Also gone is the power pyramid where the best of the best living photographers compete with the dead ones of the past.

Even though he died almost 30 years ago, Ansel Adams is still at the top with a bunch of mostly other dead folks in the top ten.

It is somewhat constipated thinking to imagine that any film photographer can compete with a trained digital shooter who has never shot film and grew up with a mouse in his or her hand.

Digital wizards have supplanted professional photographers everywhere except in the collecting world where they cannot yet gain traction among the traditionalists.

They once knew what their target audience was and how to reach them, but today they are faced with an amorphous group of camera owners who besides not needing any of their products, get their news and views from nontraditional sources.

A casual question asked of me over lunch one day in early 1996, was, “Is Kodak a good investment?

” I had recently returned from CES and played with a bulky Canon/Kodak DCS for most of a day and even though Canon said it was ’light’, I thought at 31 ounces it was heavy.

We still need heroes, but they are no longer so accessible.

Try to imagine how one would go about selling a photography-based product from the days of film, which within the last 10 years has gotten crushed by the 100 million amateur photographers who put their daily efforts on social sites to share their creations.