Why do we take photos?

Being on exchange has brought about the companionship of my camera, but also an absence of a smartphone, resulting in a new collection of pictures, with a new goal in mind during their creation. You no longer take social photos on a digital compact – it’s not an SLR, so it doesn’t elicit a pose, nor is it an iphone. What I’ve found is that we pose differently depending on what kind of camera we are facing. The quick, quiet, unobtrusive snap of the iphone leaves no-one the wiser and lets us get away quickly with posing – if it didn’t work…too bad so sad, if it did…we can lol about it after.

I don’t have a smartphone here. I miss snapchat, I miss instagram. Or even simply, mobile uploads, where the selfie is validated because of the device it was taken on. We can pull faces, be idiots, because the mobile-phone camera does not hold an underlying history of preparation for a photo, of the one-off, the value of the exposure (and cost!). Mobile photography is designed to be quick, to be multiple, to be unobtrusive.

We don’t mind the SLR at the odd party or event. It gives the occasion some formality, and of course gives the one standing behind it a certain level of credibility.

I don’t quite know where my camera fits, the Powershot G1X. It’s really great, with full manual functions and a DSLR sized sensor, but it still gets in the way of the social photo; it takes it’s time to focus, it is kind of bulky and bigger then your average digital camera.
People have started saying, wow what a great camera, that takes really good photos. Soon I will reply, it’s not all down to the camera…

My photos are only on flickr or on this blog, I don’t want no Facebook owning my work! ha.

Mum asked for photos of my surroundings which has inspired a collection of grunge-type street photography, aimed at capturing spirit and life in Montpellier (yet still not really featuring any true Montpellier-ins ….) we’ll work on that.

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will the frame change everything?

It’s interesting that our phones are designed to be held vertically – and so thats the way we film (sometimes)… it’s less obvious, it’s less intrusive – it’s got me wondering what it would take to change the way we watch films altogether…Image

Could this small detail have an influence on the way we create our films (well it already does) – I guess my real question is how much influence could this have on the way we view and create  media?

Like Instagram, Vine offers a square frame (seemingly more practicable allowing users to shoot either way) – this is useful, until you need to integrate it with other media (videos etc). I like the square frame, and I like what it allows us to do. It looks modern yet it makes me think of 120Film – the shape is fashionable.

Citizen Journalism… what the?

The Guardian’s new app looks to create a community of contributors – embracing citizen journalism, but not really offering anything in return.

While the app does have a bit to offer more then anything it’s frought with potential disaster; legally in regards to ownership and opinion, but hey, they’re taking steps to fill a hole created by the rise of mobile phones and the citizen journalist with mobile phones and the citizen journalist… go figure

those apps

I want to air my frustrations surrounding the apps available on Android phones (and Windows 8 – but that doesn’t really count).

When looking to buy my smartphone last year I was told a number of times that I should get an Android
“There’s heaps more free apps”
“The market’s not as controlled so there are more, better apps”  … or so they told me….

Unfortunately, for creating videos (and for good image editing), there doesn’t seem to be a comparison.
Apple wins this one. Hands down.

  • Vine
  • Lightt
  • Cinemagram
  • Lumify

Some of the great apps available exclusively to iOS users.

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WHY?

I don’t know. They are all free yet they are not on Android. Android where they can have ads!

So, I’m almost ready to buy myself my very first iPod.

ALERT! ALERT! Google Alert

To begin with, I was rather objectionable to setting up Google Alerts – I mean, really, I get enough emails everyday that whilst I would love to learn more about the things that I find interesting or valuable to research I did not feel that it was worth my time to sift through emails.

However, it is a course requirement, so I did it, and whilst vague were my subjects, they provided interesting results all the same…

Google Alert1: Modern Family – A popular American TV show with a witty and hilarious script. One of the favourite shows in my house.

Google Alert2: Steven Miesel – A controversial fashion photographer who has produced amazing spreads for Vogue Italia addressing  serious issues in a rather debatable way.

Google Alert3: Marieke Hardy – A Melbourne writer. I one day aspire to write as well as she, take a peek at her blog here.

Google Alert4: Photography – Broad I know, but what the hell I need the subject credit, I thought to myself.

Interestingly enough, it was Alert 4 that provided me with relevant and interesting information. As I am currently writing an essay on the individual experience that is digital photography  and the way photography has changed since the digital age I was intrigued by this post highlighting some great mobile photography in Chattanooga.

The concept that you can take a photo pretty much anywhere, anytime is fantastic and so very different. It marks a significant change in our thinking around photography and what we can take photos of.

To quote Susan Sontag, we have been "emancipated from the tripod" 

Photography has become spontaneous – we can photograph that great meal we are served for lunch at that trendy hipster cafe and make sure everyone else knows how cool we are – I’m referring to you Instagram-ers. We can capture the rainbow,  more importantly we can capture the mood of a moment in an instant. And, we can use filters to enhance the images (and when I say enhance, I mean intensify the intended mood – not make it vintage like an old style polaroid , go buy some real polaroid film if that’s what you’re after – it’s being made again!!).  As photographer Claire Wood writes in the article, “I usually prefer my iPhone/Instagram [app] photos over my big DSLR camera because these are the real snapshots of life”.

 

I think that in a professional situation Google Alerts would come in handy to monitor posts about companies and individuals. For the mean time, I’d rather not have to deal with the extra emails and instead go searching for things when I feel like reading the last thing Marieke Hardy wrote.