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iPhone ‘the snapshot camera of today’ « Previous | |Next »
October 30, 2012

In Creation and Control in the Photographic Process: iPhones and the emerging fifth moment of photography Edgar Gomez Cruz and Eric T. Meyer argue that their approach is to understand photography:

not as representation, technology, or object, but as the agency that takes place when a set of technologies, meanings, uses and practices align. The photographic object, in this sense, is nothing but the materialization of a series of assemblages, and the photographic object also enables or constrains other assemblages with its use and distribution. We propose therefore, to understand photography as a socio-technical network.

The iPhone is more than a single device within which multiple technologies (including phones, cameras, geo-location, and Internet browsing, among others) have converged, but is also a node of different networks that is shaping new understandings of what photography is and how it is used. The iPhone represents one of the latest developments in a long history of image creation devices, but is the first device that combines three important elements: the making, processing, and distribution of images.

One of the key elements for the success of the Apple iPhone is not directly related to photography production but to image distribution: the simplicity of uploading photos from the device to websites. They add:

he important thing to note is that Apple’s iPhones and iPods have short-circuited the need for expertise in computer post-processing software. Now users have the ability to download (in most cases for a small price) small pieces of software that allow one to modify photographs without having any computer skill, in an intuitive way, and upload them directly to the Web or send them by email. This is a key feature, the possibility of nearly real time distribution. The iPhone apps are thus part of the ecosystem, or socio-technical network, that is emerging during this fifth moment of photography.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 5:29 AM |