Think Tank Photo

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Phone Photo Apps!

The Brownie & Instagram 

By Rick McCawley 
rickmccawley@gmail.com
Not since the introduction of the Kodak Brownie has the popularity of photography exploded this dramatically, this time it's times a billion. 

I'm of course talking about smart phones, but more specifically Instagram, Facebook and the iPhone. 40 Million users on Instagram, 900 million on Facebook, and the iPhone dominates Flickr as the most used device beating all other cameras combined in shear numbers of photos produced with it.

Photography as a social activity, is fueled by the simplicity, "You push the button, We do the rest" - Kodak, and by it's ability to communicate complex ideas not bound by language, "A picture is worth a thousand words…in every language". 

So why is Instagram worth $1 Billion dollars Facebook paid for it. Because it covers up the flaws of the amateur with the beauty of nostalgia, emotion and mood, enhanced by it's filters. Whether is '70's Instamatic, lens flare, Black & White, Instagram adds a layer that allows an amateur to express how they feel thru an image. 

Suddenly the overexposed photo of a building has a haunting look of a bygone era, and the blurry photo of a friend the emotion of freedom and happiness. 

So as a professional what should I make of all this? Well the first Brownie brought an appreciation of the Photograph to the masses and what followed was the Golden Age of Photography. Amateurs making tons of photos to share will quickly respect the professionals ability to make great photographs everyday.