Craig Mod, recently wrote Goodbye Cameras for The New Yorker. He has now published a companion piece on practicing the craft of iPhoneography. There are two relevant bits in this new essay that resonated with me.
“One of the unexpected joys of shooting with my iPhone has been finding out just how much craft exists in a place supposedly bereft of craft. It’s an oddly rigid assessment to assume a smartphone somehow denies craft from the user. In fact, the argument that craft dissipates as modalities simplify or digitize is so old as to be a running joke for any new media practitioner. From physical to digital film editing, from physical to digital graphic design, from anything to the iPad, and from physical to digital photography, we’ve heard it before: Craft is lost! My belief is is much simpler: craft inhabits whatever medium or tool you work with, if you let it.”
The iPhone (and to some extent Instagram) have been the catalysts in my new found love for photography. I wasn’t very good at taking pictures, but iPhone 3 ensured that I was constantly capturing moments – slowly and surely, learning the craft of iPhoneography. The convenience, the constant access to the network and social feedback loop turned my into an aspiring photographer. Craig puts it best when he writes:
As more images touch the network, and as the information orbiting those images becomes more compelling, the archival value of the standalone picture as a social artifact — no matter the megapixels — will continue to diminish. If you view photography as a medium of record, then it’s hard to overvalue this shift.