He went exploring with an expensive camera, as usual. But he found he kept using his smart phone too. The end of an era?
I returned with the unshakeable feeling that I’m done with cameras, and that most of us are, if we weren’t already…. I saw more and shot more, and returned from the forest with a record of both the small details—light and texture and snippets of life—and the conversations that floated around them on my social networks.
In the same way that the transition from film to digital is now taken for granted, the shift from cameras to networked devices with lenses should be obvious. While we’ve long obsessed over the size of the film and image sensors, today we mainly view photos on networked screens—often tiny ones, regardless of how the image was captured—and networked photography provides access to forms of data that go beyond pixels. This information, like location, weather, or even radiation levels, can transform an otherwise innocuous photo of an empty field near Fukushima into an entirely different object. If you begin considering emerging self-metrics that measure, for example, your routes through cities, fitness level, social status, and state of mind (think Foursquare, Nike+, Facebook, and Twitter), you realize that there is a compelling universe of information waiting to be pinned to the back of each image. Once you start thinking of a photograph in those holistic terms, the data quality of stand-alone cameras, no matter how vast their bounty of pixels, seems strangely impoverished. They no longer capture the whole picture.
[Via Arts & Letters Daily]