Someone explain mobile photography to me

Started Oct 9, 2012 | Discussions thread
David Hart Regular Member • Posts: 157
Re: Someone explain mobile photography to me

ljfinger wrote:

I watched the video here.

I read this article and this article.

I don't get it.  To put it mildly.

I don't see the attraction of "social networking" and, more to the point here, I don't see the attraction of "mobile photography".  That video and those articles above didn't help.  In fact, much of what was said sounded closer to "appalling" than "attractive" to me.

So, can you explain it?  Not the mobile part (I have a pocket compact, and use it a good bit), but the connected part.  Why do people engage in this activity?

I think that you, and many others, confuse emerging mobile photography and the convergence of social media with what "the kids do".  What I mean is that mobile photography has been associated with low quality photographs of everyday, uninteresting, stuff (i.e. what someone had for lunch).

My thought is that mobile photography is starting to evolve towards quality photos of events, scenes, and situations while they are happening.  The photo data includes geolocation information (GPS coordinates), time codes, and are linked to other participants.  This provides an immediate window into what is happening for remote viewers.

For example, I was recently on a 12 day cruise around the coast of Italy.  For one of the excursions, my sister, her friend, and I went to the Isle of Capri.  It was late afternoon and we were sitting in the shade at a scenic location.  We used my ASUS tablet to take photos, connect to Wi-Fi, and uploaded them to Facebook.  Facebook recognized my exact location (my tablet has built-in GPS) and I tagged the photos with my sister and her friend.  Once uploaded, all of our family, friends, etc. who are on Facebook received notifications of the update.  They not only knew that we were doing well and having fun, but they also knew where we were.

I'm not claiming that the photos were historic in any or or that they would have won a prize.  But they were good enough and, for those who knew us, they told an interesting immediate short story about that moment on the island.  If you take this a step further to live photos from a protest or from a battlefield, you can see where the immediacy of this art form becomes interesting.

I personally see apps like Instagram the same way that I look at art filters in cameras.  To me, they are interesting toys, but not something that I am interested in.

Of course, there are different definitions of mobile photography from different people.  For me, it comes down to taking interesting photos with a minimum of lightweight equipment and having the ability to instantly upload them someplace (Facebook, etc.) where a specific audience can immediately view the result.  For me, the photo has to be of good quality and tell an immediate story that the audience can understand.  Which is why I largely only use mobile photography for my travel photos.

On our trip, my sister and I decided that our Mom and Dad would enjoy receiving postcards mailed from each of the locations that we visited while on the cruise.  They received a couple of them before we got back, but didn't receive all of them until 2 weeks later (mail moves slowly).  For me, mobile photography is like digital postcards that are received immediately, while they are still relevant to my life and those around me...


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