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Facebook + photography « Previous | |Next »
July 27, 2013

This year people will upload over 70 billion photos to Facebook. Many will be liked and so no one photograph will be seen as being better than another. Already Facebook’s photo collection has a staggering 140 billion photos, which is over 10,000 times larger than the Library of Congress.

We have a sense of being overloaded with images and, with digital cameras and iPhones we are all photographers now. Photography has become much more democratic than it was in the Kodak era because the tools make it easier.

VHbigcloudstudy.jpg Gary Sauer-Thompson

James Estrin in his post, In an Age of Likes, Commonplace Images Prevail, in the New York Times Lens Blog says that:

Because of the iPhone and social media [Facebook, twitter, instagram], the very meaning of what photographs are and how they function has changed radically in the last four years. A photograph is no longer predominantly a way of keeping a treasured family memory or even of learning about places or people that we would otherwise not encounter. It is now mainly a chintzy currency in a social interaction and a way of gazing even further into one’s navel.

Estrin adds that this proliferation of a commonplace — or vernacular — photography is a much more profound change than film versus digital, or the effect of the internet on the photography business.

This suggests a culture now thinking in pictures rather than words; a thinking that is often traditionally been associated with unconscious processes. This, in turn, implies that not everything we mentally grasp can be put into words.

Critics feel that consumer access to cheap imaging technologies makes the general state of photography stale, repetitive, and watered down. It's a familiar argument if we recall the rise of blogging. Journalists decried blogs, saying the amateur writing style devalued the media and destroyed news as we know it. The consumer style photography on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, is about people sharing their lives, not engaging in photography as a profession or hobby.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 8:47 PM |