I believe Walker Evans influence trancends time. When I look at his work I see how the next generation of photographers "read" his imagery. His use of an 8x10 for his documentary portraiture meant he had to spend sometime with the subject, getting to know them. That is what I see in work by Avedons In the American West and recently Martin Schoeller.
There seems to be a disconnect with what Kate says she does vs. what she dislikes about these apps. She admits to utilizing the tools within Lightroom to get the " effect" and manipulate the image to her taste. Ok I buy that because evry artist has their own view of the world. That being said the option to throw a filter on an iPhone snapshot is an option not a requirement. It is ok to let folks express their world however they like regardless of the medium (my personal fav is Jerry Uelsmann). So lighten up Kate, snap some pics and play a little.
JacquesBalthazar: Am I the only one to think apps such as these are making so called "creative photography" increasingly easy, trivial, gimmicky, lazy, boring, repetitive and ultimately irrelevant?
At least PS and the like require some training and knowledge, and benefit from an understanding of the mechanics of photography. But the new generation of apps are too brilliant for our own good.
Basically, within 6 months from now, nobody will raise an eyebrow for any similar output, and, unless you live on a desert island with no Internet, the only reaction facing a "creative" image will be to yawn and deride the Snapspeed filter that was used. Even if the picture is in fact truly a 19th century wet plate print or a 40s Kodachrome slide retrieved from a sunken ship or the outcome of a complex experiment at sophisticated cross processing.
I might be overly elitist, but the only way forward for meaningful photography might be in going back to the basics.
I think your question touches on the art vs. kich debate. A professor of mine defined it simply by stating " when you have worked an image too far, and it no longer resembles the negative, the net result is an under-whelming response by the audience."Of course this was some 20 years ago but his statement is even more valuable today given the ease of image distribution and the sheer number of "photographers" ( every cell phone is a camera ).So what defines pure photography...film, trays and chemistry?
In my opinion photography has transcended the "is it art" debate to become a real time language complete with dialect and location. Images are how we communicate now which is probably why Instagram fetched $1B while FB stock nose dives.