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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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.