Over at The Next Web, Nancy Messieh wrote a piece titled ‘Did Apple redefine photography with the iPhone?’. In it, she raised the question and laid out her arguments to support her hypothesis on Apple’s increasing investment in iPhone’s photographic capability, and the disruptive effect it had on the way we deal with photography:
Some might say that the iPhone has certainly reinvented photography but not for the better. With the rise of apps like Instagram, Hipstamatic, PicPlz and countless others, filtered smartphone photography has dominated social networks much in the same way that the iPhone has dominated Flickr. The problem with apps like Instagram is that some people take photographs of things they normally wouldn’t, slap a filter on it, and think it’s fit for sharing. Whether this is Instagram’s fault or not really comes down to opinion. Would those people be just as likely to share photos taken in front of the bathroom mirror, photos of their breakfast, pets, and more? […] Instagram’s power is in the fact that it creates a communal experience. Part of the allure is the filters, which are possibly among the very best available in any smartphone app, but what good are shared photos if no one is looking at them. Apps like Instagram create an opportunity to share images, but when we take a closer, more professional look at them, do they still meet the grade?
The thing that makes the iPhone a compelling tool for photography is its straightforwardness. You shoot, you tinker, you share, and people can see it immediately. Technicalities disappear behind the final image’s effects & filters; the moment becomes the indisputable story without second guessing the shutter speed and the aperture value.
Camera makers have long fought for technical edge and spent ridiculous amount of money marketing their products that way. It turned the table around and made the cameras, lenses the star of the show with the photographer as the sidekick. Did someone know what kind of canvas, brush and paint Da Vinci used for the Mona Lisa? Does it matter?
What matters to me now is that whatever the reason iPhones are the most popular digital camera in Flickr, it puts a smile to its users and the friends & family surrounds him/her. It made photography fun again.