In thermodynamics, the entropy of a closed system is a measure of the energy that is not available for work during a thermodynamic process. A closed system without external input evolves toward a state of maximum entropy. In cosmology, it is a hypothetical tendency for the universe to attain a state of maximum homogeneity in which all matter is at a uniform temperature … commonly referred to as “heat death”. Entropy is also used to sometimes refer to a doctrine of inevitable social decline and degeneration.
It has occurred to me that it might also be a good term to apply to the state of photography. We now are living in a world where more pictures are being taken than ever before, but with phone cameras rather than classic cameras. We are living in a world where almost everybody takes pictures continuously of anything in front of them, but they aren’t printed or saved to be viewed over and over. They are instantly sent to other digital devices to be seen and then forgotten.
In my personal situation I have taken many pictures of almost everything I have seen in front of me these last few years. I have taken pictures of the same things at different seasons, in different lighting conditions, and with multiple focal length lenses up close and far away from any angle I can. What is left? I have existed in a closed world and my photography is approaching a maximum state of entropy. If I don’t get an external stimulant and/or leave my closed world, my photography will continue to decline and reach a state of no value akin to heat death; i.e. maximum entropy. Is this a precursor of where photography in general is headed, or just mine?