The unstoppable rise of mobile imaging and aesthetics
Germen, Murat (2014) The unstoppable rise of mobile imaging and aesthetics. In: EVA London 2014 Electronic Visualisation and the Arts, London
Official URL: http://www.bcs.org/upload/pdf/ewic_ev14_s22paper3.pdf
Smart phones are ubiquitous; light, portable and indispensable. The spatial, perceptive and visual connections among scene, subject and photographer are different, compared to a regular camera. This fact enables the photographer to focus on different topics, try practices s/he has not tried before. Mobile devices change the way we create, edit, sequence and share photography. When you do street photography with a smart phone camera, one of the advantages is that people do not really understand where you aim at and what you photograph. They do not react as consciously as they would in front of a regular camera. The reason is; almost all people, including locals and tourists, own a smart phone and taking a snap with them is very common practice for all. Okabe and Ito (2006) argue that: “The camera phone is a more ubiquitous presence, and is used for more personal, less objectified viewpoint and sharing among intimates. It tends to be used more frequently as a kind of archive of a personal trajectory or viewpoint on the world, a collection of fragments of everyday life.” Ease of use seems to make smart phone recording as one of the "sine qua non" practices of photography. There are many documentary photographers, reporters, journalists, professional photographers and even artists, film directors who take this apparatus seriously and use it. Some camera makers, like Samsung, are aware of the power of mobile imaging (described as “quantum imagery” by Fred Ritchin) and started to produce cameras 3G / 4G connectivity. Before the digital revolution, the percentage of the “amateur” photographers was relatively less as compared to the digital era. Shooting with film was more difficult as analogue processes allowed less room for errors. After the launch of cheap compact digital cameras amateurs generated more self-confidence in imaging since they were offered the possibility of fixing any mistakes by just erasing any faulty photo. The introduction of cameras into smart phones was yet another dimension at which people felt even more poised to take photos, since the tool is not a “professional” apparatus with which you are expected to create expert results. In the light of above facts, I think it would not be wrong to say that phone cameras give a personalized power to their users. Nowadays, with the possibilities offered by social media tools, regular people contribute to the making of their local and global histories with the “amateur” personal images they make, which partially shape their identities. This can defined as power of the individual, using visual imagination as a tool. This paper aims to discuss how mobile digital imaging alters the creation, perception and aesthetics of visuality. Contemporary photographic culture is definitely more intricately intertwined with popular culture as compared to photography in the 20th century and this should not be interpreted as a weakness but strength, when used consciously.
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