GOODBYE CAMERA? Not me

The New Yorker article Goodbye, Camera is a thought provoking article suggesting that the era of the networked device will displace the need for a camera:

One of the great joys of that walk was the ability to immediately share with family and friends the images as they were captured in the mountains: the golden, early-morning light as it filtered through the cedar forest; a sudden valley vista after a long, upward climb. Each time, I pulled out my iPhone, not the GX1, then shot, edited, and broadcasted the photo within minutes. As I’ve become a more network-focused photographer, I’ve come to love using the smartphone as an editing surface; touch is perfect for photo manipulation. There’s a tactility that is lost when you edit with a mouse on a desktop computer. Perhaps touch feels natural because it’s a return to the chemical-filled days of manually poking and massaging liquid and paper to form an image I had seen in my head. Yet if the advent of digital photography compressed the core processes of the medium, smartphones further squish the full spectrum of photographic storytelling: capture, edit, collate, share, and respond. I saw more and shot more, and returned from the forest with a record of both the small details—light and texture and snippets of life—and the conversations that floated around them on my social networks.

Reading through this quote I was left with a question – is the networked device destroying the camera .. or is it destroying the moment? He spent his time slogging through the mountains, shooting his photos, editing, instagramming and texting instead of .. enjoying the mountain path and the moment. I can just see him doing what I see so often in beautiful travel destinations .. this fellow tripping along, distracted, glancing up from his phone while he types and Facebooks … Seen it 100 times.

Does it enhance the moment? Personally, I don’t think so.

When I am shooting with a camera I am in the moment, observing, enjoying – not thinking about who I am going to share the picture with. That doesn’t mean there isn’t a time for the camera phone, but for me there will always be a time for a camera.

It would be interesting to hear what others think.

2013 11 18 San Francisco_-35

(San Francisco, China Town)

Comments

  1. great article, personally i think there is time for both. just like you said, when i’m out and about exploring it’s nice be disconnected from the world and closer to nature. i can always share my photo’s later.

    • That is how I feel Neil. Find that when I have the camera out, I am looking for details. Registering it in my mind. You are right there is time for a iPhone too (I dont carry my camera around all the time), but in the woods .. on a mountain trail, give me my camera – not twitter or facebook

  2. I am always guilty of pulling out my iPhone for quick shots or uploads for social media, but to me, nothing beats the output quality of a camera. There can be no replacement….yet.

  3. tabularasa88 says:

    I try not to question how others choose to experience things. Perhaps the social aspect of picture taking/sharing is paramount to the author of the New Yorker piece; who am I to judge? However, I’m not sure the iPhone can hold a candle to what I can do with my camera, tripod and computer. I’m seriously questioning the author’s photography cred if he’s making that comparison.

    • True enough. Who are we to judge. I am sure that all over the world there are millions of people enjoying pictures from their phone where when they had a camera before, they were in an album or on a computer and never seen.

      But still, for me, if I am on a hike, I would not want to be tweeting it to friends …

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