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Archive 2013 · How the Cell Phone Killed Real Photography...
  
 
Sarsfield
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p.1 #1 · How the Cell Phone Killed Real Photography...


It didn't happen overnight but it is happening and it's a disturbing thing (to me). The cheapening, instant gratification and planned obsolescence/instant disposal of everything that we own has turned it's ugly head towards photography and there's no stopping it. There are plenty of examples of this trend in other facets of our economy and social fabric but photography seemed to be one where the Instagram fix might not hold. I always thought that people would want the physical gratification of a high resolution print but this seems to be going the way of the rest. Soon, our entire lives will be held only by the machines that we own. (Or do they own us? Well that's another story.) Anyway, the photographic print required an attention span of more than 2 seconds to compose, create, post process and print. Then mat, frame and hang or store in a binder or box. Now we snap and store (maybe) and go back to look at some future date? On a 4", 7", 10", 24" or 30" screen? Is this the death of real photography? Or the metamorphosis into something else? I know the purists will say that they will carry the torch and keep the real thing going but you are now the silent minority in a populace filled with iPhone 5's. The only thing we can hope is that there will be a future generation who will cry for the real thing and the art will be reborn. Until then, I'll keep doing both, I guess.


Mar 31, 2013 at 07:18 PM
Eyeball
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p.1 #2 · How the Cell Phone Killed Real Photography...


I guess you are too young to remember Brownies, Instamatics, Picture Discs, and Polaroids.


Mar 31, 2013 at 07:56 PM
DanBrown
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p.1 #3 · How the Cell Phone Killed Real Photography...


Eyeball wrote:
I guess you are too young to remember Brownies, Instamatics, Picture Discs, and Polaroids.


I guess you are too young to remember daguerreotype, collodion, and Autochrome Lumière.



Mar 31, 2013 at 08:46 PM
DanBrown
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p.1 #4 · How the Cell Phone Killed Real Photography...


Sarsfield wrote:
Is this the death of real photography? Or the metamorphosis into something else?


"All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another."
- Anatole France




Mar 31, 2013 at 08:48 PM
austinschutz
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p.1 #5 · How the Cell Phone Killed Real Photography...


Well, it makes professional photographers more important...


Apr 01, 2013 at 12:24 AM
BluesWest
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p.1 #6 · How the Cell Phone Killed Real Photography...


I guess you are too young to remember daguerreotype, collodion, and Autochrome Lumière.

You completely missed Eyeball's point. The cameras he listed were the quickie consumer photo technologies of that era, the rough equivalent of today's camera phone.

John



Apr 01, 2013 at 04:27 PM
Allynb
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p.1 #7 · How the Cell Phone Killed Real Photography...


austinschutz wrote:
Well, it makes professional photographers more important...


Totally Agree.



Apr 01, 2013 at 06:24 PM
DanBrown
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p.1 #8 · How the Cell Phone Killed Real Photography...


BluesWest wrote:
You completely missed Eyeball's point.


You completely missed the smiley face.




Apr 01, 2013 at 07:08 PM
BenV
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p.1 #9 · How the Cell Phone Killed Real Photography...


I guess you guys are to young to remember the cave drawings and sand art... youngin's these days...sheesh.




Apr 01, 2013 at 07:25 PM
Mickey
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p.1 #10 · How the Cell Phone Killed Real Photography...


austinschutz wrote:
Well, it makes professional photographers more important...


No it makes creative, high quality photography more important regardless of who takes the picture.



Apr 02, 2013 at 11:16 AM
 

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Sarsfield
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p.1 #11 · How the Cell Phone Killed Real Photography...


The beginning of the end:

http://connect.dpreview.com/post/7398706941/photographer-iphone-shot-worthy-nyt-front-page




Apr 09, 2013 at 08:54 PM
surreywharf
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p.1 #12 · How the Cell Phone Killed Real Photography...


Video killed the radio star.

Jim



Apr 10, 2013 at 09:04 PM
jcolwell
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p.1 #13 · How the Cell Phone Killed Real Photography...


Light killed the vampire.

I think Cell Phone Killed Real Photography is a bogus premise. Time passes. Life evolves. So does technology.

Photography with cell phones does not hurt "real photography", it is real photography. It enables more people to take more meaningful photos, in more circumstances.

I agree with Mickey's comment,

"it makes creative, high quality photography more important regardless of who takes the picture."

I'd like to add, "and regardless of how you take it".



Apr 11, 2013 at 12:03 AM
EltonTeng
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p.1 #14 · How the Cell Phone Killed Real Photography...


I agree with Jim's point. The phone camera allows the average person to be able to carry a camera everywhere and record memories. Not everyone can afford to pay an on-call professional "life style" photographer to hang out with them.

It's nice to be able to have professional grade 20x30 matted/framed prints on the wall somewhere in the house. The pictures that help the average person to relive memories are the pictures from vacations, kids' school performances, walks in the park, etc, that were taken with their cell phone cameras, disposable film cameras, and PnS digicams.

I use my Facebook app on my Nexus 4 to show my vacation photos and work from photo trips. Is that wrong? No. I don't have to carry multiple photo albums with me everywhere since I can just retrieve the photos from Facebook.



Apr 11, 2013 at 04:35 AM
Bernie
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p.1 #15 · How the Cell Phone Killed Real Photography...


OMG no more visiting friends on Saturday nights to be bored by 4 hours of slides! We can carry all thos pics on our cellphones and bore them at will....

I agree with Jim and Elton. It has allowed photography / videography to become even more personal. The shots I took of my family (including me) on vacation were not done with my D300, but with my iphone. It's now a background on my wife's iphone as a reminder of the good times we had.

This in no way is going to limit my artistic side and printing my 36 x 24" images. In fact, some of my iphoneography could very well end up that size...



Apr 11, 2013 at 03:05 PM
borderlight
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p.1 #16 · How the Cell Phone Killed Real Photography...


The cheapening, instant gratification and planned obsolescence/instant disposal of everything that we own has turned it's ugly head towards photography and there's no stopping it.

Yeah, "cheap, instant gratification"... that's what I'm talkin about.




Apr 12, 2013 at 05:12 PM
mike-in-ak
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p.1 #17 · How the Cell Phone Killed Real Photography...


There is an ad running on the tube that references “A billion roaming photojournalists, uploading the human experience, and it is spectacular.” — Sprint iPhone commercial


Apr 14, 2013 at 08:20 PM
MazeRunner
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p.1 #18 · How the Cell Phone Killed Real Photography...


I personally don't believe that cell phone shooters create pictures as good as any fairly good pro with a DSLR (if they both have it out at the same time at the same place). But the convenience of a cell phone and the number of people with a decent cell phone are far more than the number of DSLR owners. That and they may have their phone available at a location and time where and when they can take a great shot!

The cell phone helps real photography. Anyone with real talent at framing and taking pictures will take good pictures, regardless if they're shooting with a cell phone or with a DSLR. It's not the camera that matters, but the perspective and lighting!

But in terms of quality, DSLRs will always be highly regarded unless they make great mirrorless replacements for 35mm. One thing I noticed about cell phones is that it's ridiculously hard to hold still for a picture. A DSLR with the ergonomic handle and the left hand underneath the lens/body is really really comfortable and a lot easier to hold steady for a sharper shot. That and the LENSES! There's no way a person with an iPhone 4S or 5 (on a tripod, even) can shoot a sharper group shot of 20 people at a wedding than a good wedding shooter with a 24mm 1.4G on a D800 (handheld!). Megapixels do matter, and so do expensive lenses, not to mention the A/S/ISO control. Yes, there's the money difference, but since we're talking about quality

Granted, a great photographer can shoot amazing photos with an iPhone or any other good cell phone (think Jerry Ghionis iPhone wedding), but most will not.



Apr 15, 2013 at 03:59 AM
PeakPhoto
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p.1 #19 · How the Cell Phone Killed Real Photography...


As a primarily print seller, I don't think phone photography has killed photography. Shots with my setup and all the time I put into post production will beat out almost every phone photo you can throw my way.

My whole market is people reliving vacation or childhood memories. For instance I take pictures at a nearby mountain lake often, people love them because they can connect to them and they have a lot of memories tied to the specific place. So they want a big print for their house. Ya they can take a picture themselves on their phone, but in the end they want a high quality product.

And as others have said it's a good thing it's out there. It helps people capture the moment without having to always carry a point and shoot.



Apr 15, 2013 at 03:45 PM
15Bit
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p.1 #20 · How the Cell Phone Killed Real Photography...


There is a problem here with the definition of what "real photography" is. I'm sorry, but "real photography" has nothing to do with expensive cameras, lenses, tripods, megapixels or computationally measurable image clarity. It has to do with content, with capturing the moment, with being "there" with a camera. Whether that moment is a snapshot of great personal happiness, a sweeping landscape, or a political statement that will change the world doesn't matter - it is all "real photography". To diminish or define a photograph according to the equipment used is just snobbery.

Consider the vast majority of photos have always been personal moments captured for personal consumption. To most people this is "real photography", not Pullitzer prize winning shots of dead babies or steamy tropics in National Geographic. The cell phone acts as both camera and viewer for most, and it makes the process of capturing and sharing memories easier than ever. It's a device you carry with you anyway, it allows you see what you will get before you push the shutter button and you can share it with the world immediately without the barrier and cost of time consuming wet chemistry to overcome.

So no, i don't think the cell phone hasn't killed real photography, i think it has enabled it.



Apr 16, 2013 at 05:21 AM
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