What would the 19th century pioneers of photography think of mobile photography and the instant sharing of the billion of images proliferating our phones and tablets? Actually it’s 380 billion based on an article by Steve Myers, Is Instagram’s social network dumbing down photography?.
As the birth of photography centered around permanently adhering the image from the camera obscura to a surface, present day mobile photogs focus on digitally sharing their captures. Ultimately, Henry Talbot understood the value of the master negative reproducing images on paper leading the way to George Eastman popularizing roll film creating Kodak.
The instant camera, Polaroid, developed images immediately that became a cult following for enthusiasts and artists. While digital cameras, point and shoot or DSLR (digital single-lens reflex), trumped film based cameras, the mobile photography movement or iphoneography is dominating the conversation.
But viewing photography as an artistic process, not are all convinced of mobile styles or its dependency on apps. In the article The woes of the DSLR snob: here comes the iPhone camera by Joy Shan discusses the overused digital tricks used in mobile captures compared to DSLR counterparts. But one can contrast that the entire digital realm gives license to become overly consumed in the post production tweaks than the actual capture of the photograph.
Jack Hollingsworth a 30-year world lifestyle photographer has become iPhone obsessed and champions the mobile movement. I was first introduced to Hollingsworth from his terrific online iPhoneography workshop with creativeLive. His passion and support for the mobile community resonated sharing his approach and techniques. Hollingsworth along with his peers happily leave behind their bulky equipment in favor of the immediacy of mobile captures. Not only the shooting experience has changed, but it’s the ability of mobile cameras to instantly share and create on going narratives establishing circles with a 24/7 global community.
Instagram originally debuted on the iPhone in October 2010 has become the fastest growing platform for mobile image sharing. Reaching 5 million users in July 2011, the social sharing app reached 150 million uploaded images last August. Creating an account on Instagram, new users can begin to follow members and be discovered by likes and comments. With the use of hashtags, images are curated into groups or themes and like minded enthusiasts create connections.
But linked at the beginning of the post, Instagram has brought some criticism. At the recent SXSW, Kristen Joy Watts led a panel discussion debating the downside of social photography. Do members place to much emphasis on popularity and does it deter future talent who don’t attract attention? With all social media, the amount of followers doesn’t always equate to quality but time and effort placed on interacting with the community. Especially on Instagram, authenticity of the image is key along with generously contributing to the conversation. Daily, I love to view my global stage from Instagramers that share their stories and local landscapes.
Want to get started? Begin by watching the conversation between Guy Yang and Jack Holligsworth. Yang, of The BeginnersLens blog shares his enthusiasm for digital and mobile photography.