Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Revolution will be Camera-Phoned

A profession forever in search of a definition

... a growing number of “visual journalists” are leaving their big, expensive toys at home and depending on an iPhone as their tool of choice. New York Times staff photographer Damon Winter won third place in last year’s Pictures of the Year features category for a series of photos of American troops at war – all taken with an iPhone and processed with a filtering application called Hipstamatic.

His award generated controversy. Traditionalists sneered at the Winter’s non-traditional use of a camera phone as a journalistic tool. Some felt the filtering effects of the Hipstamatic application violated the Times’ own policy when it comes to altering the context of photographs.

But Winter proved something I’ve long believed. When it comes to photography, it’s not the tool that a shooter uses but the eye behind the tool that composes the picture and tells the story.

It’s only a matter of time before someone wins a Pulitzer Prize for a photo taken with a camera phone. With so many of the littler buggers out there, someone – somewhere – will capture the right moment of a major news event and produce an image that will flash around the world and catch everyone’s attention.

Winter didn’t have to lug a camera bag filled with a couple of $5,000 digital SLRs and several lenses around for his assignment. Instead, he composed his photos and shot them with a small, unobtrusive camera phone.

(my emphasis)

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