Mobile photographer Brad Puet, who is also a co-founder of We Are Juxt and a member of AMPt, is a firm believer and enthusiastic supporter of the community that developed around the nascent genre. Also a spoken word artist, Puet shares his poetic thoughts, and quotes from fellow artists, in this intimate look at the close community mobile photographers have built.
The community of mobile photography has broadened how we communicate with one another. Our interests are now shared with an increasing amount of people, followers or audience (however you choose to define it). Our reach to others has been extended on a global scale while our interactions have evolved on an emotional scale. We are able to build relationships, based on support and our common ground.
We are now part of a world in which mobile technology touches almost every aspect of our lives. Innovative, connected devices have fostered a community of “creatives” who learn, teach and consume the art of mobile photography. The idea of connectivity is centered in the here and now, helping us interact with people impulsively and instantaneously.
In June of 1997, Philippe Kahn invented the camera phone as we all know it. The premise for this invention for him – to document and share with family and friends the birth of his daughter – also marked the beginning of the mobile photography community.
This burgeoning community has been enthusiastic about sharing their work from the start, first through small, individual blogs and the innovative (at the time) Flickr share site. The creativity they exhibited with their camera phones was amazing. There were many people creating stunning images, curating their art on these accounts and building relationships with like-minded creatives. They began to develop the core functions of the mobile photography community: sharing, engaging and consuming images. From inception, it was about the art, but more importantly about the camaraderie surrounding the art.
Enter social photo-sharing platforms Instagram and EyeEm, and the doors to this small but growing community were opened to the rest of the world. Sharing became instantaneous, and the community discovered a new addiction to engaging and consuming photographs. Images were uploaded at an astronomical rate. What once was a slow process of downloading to a desktop, then posting onto a web-based site, became shoot and share immediately. The community began to broaden. There were a million stories being told.
Exploring the meaning of 'community'
Community means a “unified body of individuals,” says Merriam-Webster. It connotes inclusion and similar beliefs within a collective context. We find ourselves identifying as part of the mobile photography/iPhoneography/Droidography community.
Community is actually individual-specific, with an individual at the center. You, me and everyone else: we each have our own community.
At first blush, this may sound like a modern, individualistic, self-centered definition of community. For one thing, with this understanding comes the new understanding (for me anyway) that every individual I interact with today is the living, breathing center of their own community. This makes everyone significantly more connected, influential and powerful than they appear (and often know) in their individual forms. Every individual is the center of their own community.
We are living in a time when most of us are so flooded with imagery and information as individuals that we have no idea which end is up many days. This can cause us to over-rely on the published ideas of distant experts and to undervalue those we’re directly connected to as well as our individual selves. Sure there are technical aspects that we can learn from others. Sure there are new discoveries that can help us hone our craft. In the context of community, we all have a stake and a contribution to make.
We are so much more than we can know we are or be as individuals. Community wraps us in the surprise and delight we need to laugh, play, relax and to come to know more of our whole, true, beautiful selves. This hasn’t changed since the word community was first spoken, because this doesn’t need to change.
I think that’s why community persists and why it will continue to persist, despite our precarious piles of individual fears.
Community is who we are. It’s why we last. It's always with us, like the found, smooth and treasured stones in my jacket pockets that show up to surprise and delight me again and again.
My stones have names. Your stones have names.
These stones provide us friendship, mentorship and inspiration. They provide us a glimpse of humanity through a technological window.
We develop these relationships on behalf of a community that loves to create, learn, share and connect. We are touched by all these stones on the basic human level. I hold mine close to me, in my pocket, and get excited when they share with me the joys, the heartache, and the humor of their daily lives.
How can I even quantify how they participate in my definition of community?
That’s just how we roll.
Brad Puet (known as BP across many networks and as @bradpuet) found creative expression through photography by way of his mobile phone. By day he is a director of a human services program in Seattle. He also has a long history of organizing many grassroots organizations and is a co-founder of two arts organizations in Seattle, one focused on cultural arts and the other with youth. BP has lived in Seattle for 25 years and is always trying to document its rich history through art. He believes that art is the vehicle for change in society.
|Hook Head Lighthouse by kroker|
from Best Photo of the Week
|Green turtle in the shallows by gcachon|
Canon went and put an APS-C sensor in a G series compact. The result is a mighty tempting camera for travel.
Google Photos is adding a few pet-friendly features that will make it easier to find photos of your favorite pooch. Now, you can organize your pet photos by facial recognition, and you can even search your library by breed.
Colorful tripod maker MeFOTO has launched a new tripod... and a whole new brand name. Meet the GlobeTrotter travel video tripod, the first product to be released under the MeVIDEO brand.
If you own a Moto Z, you'll soon be able to attach a Polaroid instant printer to it. Check out the unreleased Moto Mod, which was leaked earlier today.
DJI has developed a technology called AeroScope that allows law enforcement to identify and track airborne drones that are breaking UAV regulations, while simultaneously addressing privacy concerns.
The Nikon D850 is a 45.7MP full-frame DSLR with an autofocus system lifted wholesale from the pro-sports focused D5. 4K capture, continuous shooting at 7 or 9 frames per second make it sound like the ultimate all rounder. Is it all that these specs suggest?
The Mate 10's Kirin 970 chipset with integrated AI processing allows for object recognition, motion detection and automatic scene selection in the camera app.
DxO has announced version 3.0 of the iOS app for its 'One' connected camera. It adds support for multi-camera Facebook Live broadcasting and both time-lapse still and video capture. Android users will be pleased to hear that a One for their platform is on the way, as well. Several new accessories are available, including a battery pack.
Canon has introduced the PowerShot G1 X Mark III, which borrows the 24MP APS-C sensor and Dual Pixel AF system from the company's recent mirrorless and DSLR cameras, adds a 24-72mm equiv., F2.8-5.6 lens and puts them into a lightweight body – but it'll cost you quite a bit.
It's not often that we see a genuinely interesting compact camera, and the Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark III is one such beast. We've pulled out the top features of the camera and tell you why they matter – and put the Mark III up against the competition.
Apple's HDR effect in the iPhone 8 Plus is on by default and more aggressive than in previous generations. It's also good enough to convince DPR contributor Jeff Carlson to leave it on all the time.
Canon's 28mm F2.8 IS USM may be small in size, but it's big on fun. We wrote about our experience using it as our only lens in Big Sur, California, but in case you missed out on our full gallery, take a look to see what this little lens can do.
Travel photographer Elia Locardi tells the story behind this gorgeous (and rare) panorama of the Dubai cityscape draped in fog.
Bison, drift cars, horseback riders, antelope – from the beach to the race track, the Sony 100-400mm G Master is one versatile piece of kit.
"Wildlife photography in Yellowstone National Park is an incredible opportunity, yet some bad photographers are giving all photographers a bad name by not following the rules."
Casio's bionic-looking new action camera, the GZE-1, is built with extreme sports in mind. The little camera is drop-proof, freeze-proof, dust-proof, and waterproof to 50 meters.
Yashica recently released the digiFilm Y35: a camera that tries to simulate the "experience" of shooting film... and it's just the worst.
Western Digital has revealed some interesting new technology that, it claims, will allow them to develop 40TB hard drives by the year 2025.
Photographer Micael Widell wanted to see just how affordable it could possibly be to get into digital photography—so he bought a full DSLR kit with battery grip and 50mm lens on eBay for just $80.
Confused about DxOMark's scoring system? This straightforward video by Marques Brownlee breaks down how DxO gets its scores, and why you should always look beyond that "overall" number.
It's not exactly a revolutionary device, but the iPhone 8 Plus does promise some evolutionary updates in the camera department. DPR contributor Jeff Carlson has been putting the 8 Plus to the test in some everyday shooting situations – take a look at how it fared.
This week in Hollywood, DJI introduced its new Zenmuse X7 camera, a Super 35 format cinema camera of its own design that can also capture 24MP still images in APS-C format. Is it time to start thinking of DJI as a camera company?
Landscape and astrophotographer Asif Islam shot a series of timelapses starting in Los Angeles and getting farther and farther away, showing how the Milky Way emerges as the light pollution fades.
Ultraviolet photography is something that relatively few photographers explore, but it’s a fascinating realm to explore with less of an investment in equipment than most people think.
After almost fifteen years of nearly buying one, Barney recently found a working Canon PowerShot G5 in his local thrift shop. It must be Throwback Thursday.
DJI has launched the Zenmuse X7, a Raw video capable Super 35 camera module. The camera/gimbal system which mounts to the company's drones features a new, proprietary lens mount.
Windowed is a free app that lets you upload photos to Instagram straight from your Mac or PC—no tablet, smartphone, or complicated workaround required.
Nikon has published a list lenses that it deems worthy of its newest DSLR: the 45.7MP Nikon D850.
The Nikon D850 isn't the first camera to hit triple digits on DxOMark; in fact, the Pentax 645Z was listed at 101 all the way back in 2015. So why was the full review never published? DxOMark explained earlier today.
Due to 'slower-than-expected development of the VR market,' Nokia has decided to pull the plug on its $25K Ozo VR camera while it restructures the company and sheds as many as 310 jobs.