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A Brief Meditation on the Camera PhonePosted by Michael Grecco
Since the advent of the camera phone circa 2000, many in the photography world have been keeping a wary eye on its evolution.
At first, camera phones were a bit of a novelty, capturing grainy little photos fit only for display on the tiniest screens. Then came the early smartphones, whose cameras were technologically impressive, but hardly able to rival the quality of a DSLR; still nothing to make a huge fuss about.
However, with each new generation of smartphones, the disparity between photos taken on cell phones and photos taken on good old fashioned cameras became less pronounced, and the think pieces started popping up.
Suddenly everyone with so much as a tangential interest in photography had one question on their minds and on their blogs. The question in question; “Will cell phone cameras eliminate the need for professional photographers?”
Instagram upstarts and industry outsiders cheerfully predicted an age of egalitarian photography; soon anyone would be able to seize the means of production, as it were, and capture all of life’s important moments for themselves. Meanwhile, those on the other side of the fence lamented the destruction of photography as an artform, all but holding a funeral for a thing that was far from dead.
The years went on and smartphone cameras continued to improve. Some prophecies regarding the future of photography came to pass (at least in part) while others proved to be misplaced pessimism.
Cell phone cameras have certainly made photography more accessible on an amateur level. When you snap a picture on an android or an iPhone, it undergoes an instant editing process; temperature, contrast, texture, and saturation are all adjusted automatically to make for a more appealing photo.
While this does mean that anyone with a decent phone can take a decent picture, it certainly doesn’t spell the death of the art of photography. It would be a bit elitist to say that only trained professionals can use photography as a means of artistic expression. A painting done purely for the joy of it can still be called art even if it never hangs in a museum.
On top of that, professional photography comes down to a lot more than just camera quality. It’s a learned skill that takes time and experience to develop (if you’ll forgive the pun). Assuming that amateur photography — even good amateur photography — can replace professional photography completely rather undersells the thought and creativity required for the latter.
No matter how advanced cell phone cameras become, there will always be situations that call for the talents of an expert. I have no doubt that advertising photography, wedding photography, photojournalism, and any number of other specialized fields will remain safely in the hands of professional photographers.
Smartphones aren’t destroying photography; they’re merely making it possible for everyday people to capture everyday moments. Who could be mad about that?
In need of some photos a little more refined than what you can capture on your cell phone? Contact professional advertising photographer Michael Grecco today! To get in touch, call (310) 452-4461 or send an email to email@example.com.