Photography and Cinema
In the 21st century, the smartphone camera changed the way we use and view photography. In addition, apps and social media have changed the way we share photography.
How has the invention of the smartphone camera changed photography?
How have apps and social media changed the way we share photos? Are they positive and/or negative changes? Explain.
Include a statement from a current photographer or critic to support your points.
Photography and Cinema
The invention of smartphone cameras has significantly changed photography. One of the most significant changes is instant gratification regarding the ability to capture a picture and gain access to the image instantly every single time. This is contrary to the previous Polaroid film, where once a picture was taken, people had to wait to view the picture because it had to be taken to a store to be developed. Smartphone cameras have also enabled capturing of quality pictures. Various smartphones are equipped with single or multiple lens cameras, with the ability to alter light and focus, capturing quality pictures. In addition, smartphones allow capturing mounds of images at once to get a perfect pose (Johannessen & Boeriis, 2021). The photographer can take a picture as many times as desired and preview the multiple files to determine which best suits their desires. This is contrary to the era before digital cameras there the photographer could not take and retake pictures to get the perfect pose because there was no way of instantly knowing what the picture capture looked like.
The change has been further enabled by unlimited storage in smartphones, unlike with film cameras. Smartphones have changed the culture of photography. Smartphones have front cameras that allow anyone to capture a picture of themselves. As a result, people no longer have to wait for another person to pose as a photographer. The invention of smartphones has also negatively affected professional photography. Now that smartphones are readily available, anyone can take photos, even amateurs. This often results in ruined professional pictures or photos that don’t represent the original scene, primarily due to filters.
Apps and social media have changed the way pictures are shared. They have enabled instant sharing of pictures with a large crowd and random acquaintances. This is contrary to previously where people had photo books only shared with special people during special occasions. Although this has increased socialization, it has also posed the risk of cyberbullying and reduced the thrill that came with capturing special moments with pictures. According to Robert Frank, one of the world’s best photographers, smartphone cameras are increasingly making photography meaningless. There are cameras everywhere capturing every moment, making people feel constantly watched. Frank considers this trend increasingly demeaning to art as all moments, including those not special or beautiful, are recorded continuously (“Robert Frank and photography: Art in the age of image overload,” 2012).
- Johannessen, C. M., & Boeriis, M. (2021). Accelerating semogenesis: an ecosocial approach to photography. Visual Communication, 20(4), 527-551. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1470357219887769
- Robert Frank and photography: Art in the age of image overload. (2012, January 21). oregonlive. https://www.oregonlive.com/art/2012/01/robert_frank_and_photography_a.html