How smartphones are influencing photography trends

Tue 1 Dec 2020

The rise of the smartphone camera has been both problematic and beneficial over the past decade, opening doors for the would-be photographer and closing them off for those seriously aspiring to become the next photographers of their generation. Recently, retro photo editing apps such as Huji, 1967, and VHS have led an increasing number of young people to take an interest in where these simulations of the past came from, leading them to film cameras as well as polaroid cameras.

Smartphones – allowing everyone to access photography

The smartphone camera knows no class, age, race, gender or background, allowing anybody to document what they see. This low barrier to entry has inspired a generation to take more photos than ever and the smartphone will carry on pushing into our consciousness as a credible way to take photographs. One breakthrough example of this was in 2011 when Olive - the first ever film to be recorded solely on a smartphone - was released, attracting critical acclaim and paving the way for the smartphone to have a more serious role in the world of photography.

The smartphone – ‘the sharing of an experience’?

With an increasing volume of news dominated by images and videos taken by bystanders on smartphones, technology is changing how we consume news, seeing it through the eyes of those who were there at the time, unedited and in its rawest form. New York-based photographer Henry Jacobson suggests that this is an example of photography becoming ‘more about the sharing of an experience, rather than the sharing of a moment' and that this is ‘entirely new’. He goes on to explain that the experience refers to the ‘I can say I was there when that happened’ desire of the 21st century.  

The resurgence of film photography

Many current and future film students are curious to know about the process behind how photography used to be before the digital age – darkroom printing, for example. This desire, coupled with the increase in filters that simulate old-style, retro photographs, has caused a rise in those interested by real film cameras in 2018.

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