Remember when your first brick phone had a camera? A terrible, horrible, very bad camera?
How times have changed. Mobile cameras are rapidly developing technologically, to the point that they are a hot topic at this year’s CES, a global consumer electronics and consumer technology tradeshow.
Not only are mobile cameras approaching the same quality as point and shoot cameras, they are miles ahead of most in terms of ease of use and accessibility. Mobile cameras have changed the way we value photos, and are shaping to future of amateur photography.
There were around 3.5 trillion photos taken in the first 186 years of photography. At the rate we are taking them now, that number will double in less than ten years!
The analog photo, however, is now something of a rarity. While analog photographers might sound more professional than mobile photographers, that isn’t necessarily the case. With the monetization of social apps, mobile photography is where the money’s at, and brands know it.
Portable digital photography has probably been around longer than you think too. Apple’s been in the game since long before iPhones or even iPods were a thing. In 1994 they debuted one of the first digital consumer-level cameras with this little beauty: the Apple QuickTake 100. It could hold an impressive maximum of 32 photos at 320×240 resolution… and we complain about the memory on our smartphones.
But perhaps what has come the longest way is the photo editing capabilities on mobile devices—and I’m not just talking about slapping on an Instagram filter. Mobile photographer Cory Staudacher (@withhearts) usesVSCOcam, Manual, Snapseed, Afterlight, Filterstorm, AvgCamPro, CortexCam, SKRWT, and TouchRetouch to patch together all the capabilities he needs to edit photos to perfection on his iPhone. Want to learn how he does it? Check out this video.
The growing popularity of mobile photography has worked its way into the awards circuit. One of the more popular competitions, the iPhone Photography Awards, offers a gold bar to its first place winners. With a $3 entry fee, why wouldn’t you compete? Jon Resnik, CCO of Big Fuel, probably thought along the same lines in 2013… and won 1st place in the Animals category!
Jon’s winning photo, via @jonresnik on Instagram
Some people think that the democratization of photography has ruined the craft. I disagree. I believe making photography accessible to anyone has taken the art in directions that no one would have gone with conventional point and shoot. It has given the disadvantaged the opportunity to discover a new passion, and it has brought a high art form to the people. Mobile photography is to fine art photography what punk rock is to classical music, and I say rock on mobile photography.