The Phone Photography Revolution
We are on the verge of a new chapter in photography, and a hot debate topic at that! Of course, we are talking about the infamous camera phone. A small version of it's ancestors, snugly tucked into a device that millions of us carry with us every minute of every day, our cell phones. But, don't be fooled, this little guy can pack a big punch nowadays. So why is it getting so much flack from the photography community?
A Short History of the Camera Phone
Even though the first cameras to be integrated with a cellular phone were very limited and produced low quality images, their success was apparent from the start. The J-Phone in Japan, the first phone to include a digital camera, saw more than half of their subscribers using the camera device within the first two years it was available on the market.
By 2003, the camera phone surpassed sales of stand-alone digital cameras and by 2006, over half the worlds phones included a camera. Then, in 2010, the worldwide number of camera phones hit the 1 billion mark! Even inexpensive phones contained a camera, although still quite basic, however, more expensive phones started to see rapid improvement in image resolution, lens quality, and smaller sensor sizes.
Today's smart phones now boast cameras that rival the early day stand-alone versions. Many have a 12+ megapixel range. The Nokia 808 PureView even boast 41 megapixels.
Alas, some groups in the world of photography have met the advances and mainstream availability of camera phones with opposition. They claim that such devices are not suitable for the creation of high end, artistic quality photography. But why? after all they can now produce high resolution images, they even have accessories that allow you to attach interchangeable SLR lenses to the phone's camera.
The answer may not lie within the cameras capabilities, but rather in it's availability. With the wide-spread usage of camera phones by the general population, their stature as a professional tool has been compromised. They are used to capture every day snapshots of friends making duck faces in the mirrors of the girls locker room. They are used to snap horribly cropped vacation pictures. They are used to send a picture of a nasty spider bite to your friend who thinks they are a doctor. They are used in conjunction with online editing software to create cheep variations of way too tightly cropped self portraits. And the list goes on...
In short, it may be that some photographers feel that the camera phone has been too bastardized to be a viable contender for addition to their toolbox of photography equipment. Or, these theories may all be wrong, it may be the fact that they find it hard to own $15,000 worth of photography equipment and instead opt to shoot with their $300 phone instead.
Hope on the Horizon
There may be hope for the lowly camera phone. A hand full of photographers are embracing the emerging technologies and putting them into use in the field. While not the only example, recently TIME Magazine utilized iPhone Photographers to aide in the coverage of Hurricane Sandy as it struck the eastern coast of the United States. The use of camera phone technology lead to the photographers being able to ensure safe delivery of their product in a timely manner while also managing to capture images worthy of a spot on the cover of the magazine itself.
The decision to use camera phone technology in the coverage of this natural disaster was an experiment into the power the technology has to overcome obstacles and limitations produced by the subject being photographed. Likewise, there are many photographers, professional and amateur, that are finding it fun to conduct their own experiments into how to manipulate and push the limits of these cameras to produce their own new bread of artwork.
Where this is headed is anyone's guess, but one thing is certain. The camera phone is here to stay and will in fact continue to grow and influence photography in the future. The question is, "Will you be a part of it?"
Mobile Photography Mini Challenge
We want to challenge you to step outside the realm of conventional photography and into the world of mobile photography! Over the next week, we will be accepting images to the Mobile Photography Challenge
folder on #CRPhotography
. We want you to get out there with your cell phone and bring back stunning images from all sorts of subjects. You can submit up to 3 images into the folder, but are only eligible to win a prize once. Good luck!
Photograph may be of any subject matter as long as it fits within the deviantART guidelines.
You must include in the Artist's Comments that your deviation is an entry for #CRPhotography
's Mobile Photography Challenge.
Participants may enter up to 3 images, but are only eligible to win one prize.
Entries must be new for this challenge and your own work.
Mature content must be clearly marked.
Monday, May 7th, 11:59 p.m. (PST)
2 participants will receive 50 points. (from `WhenPigsFry)
All entries will be featured in the winners blog!
If you have any questions or concerns about this contest, please don't hesitate to post them in a reply to this announcement, or in a note to #CRPhotography
. Have fun and good luck!
“There are no bad pictures; that's just how your face looks sometimes.”