Have mobile phones killed photography?

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This topic contains 4 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  KEN LAST 1 week, 5 days ago.

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  • #16993

    Peter Robinson
    Keymaster

    I’ve just come across a tweet which directed me to a bbc item where ‘Renowned German film director and photographer Wim Wenders has hit out at phone’ photography’.

    Have a look at what he says and have your say.

    Wim Wenders opinion on mobile phone photography

    I think a lot of snap shots are taken on mobile phones without a lot of thought and care, but I disagree that it’s killing photography. I think it leads some people to develop an interest in photography that they wouldn’t have done otherwise. What do you think?

    #16994

    Ian McNab
    Keymaster

    Anyone who wants to get really good at mobile phone photography can join Magnum photographer Gueorgui Pinkhassov’s masterclass in Beijing. Pinkhassov also has a Instagram account where he displays his astonishing iPhone photos.

    He’s not the only professional photographer to use a mobile phone for work. Guardian photographer Dan Chung famously photographed the 2012 Olympics on an iPhone. National Geographic photographer Ben Lowy started using a mobile phone when working as a war photographer in Gaza, Libiya, Afghanistan and Iraq; and he now posts all sorts of work to his Instagram account. And there are many other expamples.

    I think what Wim Wenders is objecting to is the fact that the great mass of mobile phone photographs are never actually looked at by anyone. I guess that doesn’t apply to Pinkhassov’s Instagram account, which has 89,000 folowers! ūüėČ

     

    #16997

    Peter Robinson
    Keymaster

    Thanks Ian. It’s clear that excellent images can be take with a phone if the photographer takes the time to master it. A phone is ideal for photography in many ways. Is obviously light and compact and the quality of modern phones is getting better all the time. They’re great for street photography where they can be used discreetly.

    I think a lot of mobile phone users take for photos for personal memories of events they enjoy and wish to record so the photos aren’t intended to be viewed by a mass audience.

    #16999

    ajroyle
    Keymaster

    Wenders has expressed this view¬†in the past¬†and, before we align ourselves with it (because club photographers love prints so much) we should remind ourselves that Wender’s favourite print format is the Polaroid. We may not be singing from his hymn sheet.

    It seems very disappointing to us that the massive increase in camera usage due to the advent of the mobile phone has not been reflected in increased membership of photographic societies. In actual fact the arrival of digital photography itself ( as opposed to very capable camera phones) did increase numbers, but they have declined somewhat since that boost 10 years ago.

    The usual reason given for printing is NOT that it is the ultimate expression of photographic art but that the purely digital image will not last. Certainly electronically preserved images are vulnerable but prints may have only one iteration and can get lost or degraded. Fears about loss of electronic images have been much exaggerated.

    The electronic image has an infinitely better transmission facility, infinitely cheaper costs and is (largely) what-you-see-is-what-you-get (historically very much NOT what you get with prints).

    So why print? For most people the purely digital image has everything they want.

    We can still hope that more people will get more serious about their photography and printing may form part of how they wish to express their output.

    People transitioning from casual film photography to camera phones and digital transmission must be absolutely non-plussed by the facility and apparent quality. The quality of high street printing in the film days was an absolute disgrace – yet most people accepted it as the norm. It was not a good memory.

    #17006

    KEN LAST
    Participant

    All very true–pay your money and take your pick. All so difficult to quantify. The print much like books still has that appeal and bit of magic. Take it out of this context –a picture in artwork sells like hot cakes for high prices. Try and sell the same picture electronically. My dear friend sent me some e-mail images of her special ¬† family gathering. Just today I asked her if she would like some prints making. It was like offering her gold dust.Prints are there to capitalise on——— photo clubs need to change direction so as to attract in the phone camera people who are there for the taking.

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