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Author Topic: Unexpected Impact of Migration to Cell Phone Photography  (Read 24496 times)

Remo Nonaz

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Unexpected Impact of Migration to Cell Phone Photography
« on: November 17, 2014, 12:47:53 pm »

This weekend I attended the annual meeting and dinner for a club I belong to. I brought my usual kit of camera and flash gear to grab some photos for our monthly journal.  Normally there are a few other members who bring point and shoot cameras for photos of their own. Some of these people are pretty good photographers and will add their input for our modest publication. This year there was a difference.

While I saw several people using cell phone cameras, I did not see a single point and shoot camera, or indeed any camera other than mine, with even a modest pop up flash.

There is no way a cell phone camera is going to be able to take quality photos in a low light situations like a function hall. What does this mean for the future of indoor event photography? Could this actually be a trend that will increase the market for professional event photographers?
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jjj

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Re: Unexpected Impact of Migration to Cell Phone Photography
« Reply #1 on: November 19, 2014, 10:00:30 am »

Not necessarily as 'good enough' satisfies most people and a phone with camera is exactly that for many.
So it all depends on if anyone actually appreciates/wants really good shots and if they have budget/are prepared to pay.
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jjj

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Re: Unexpected Impact of Migration to Cell Phone Photography
« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2014, 10:02:58 am »

Not unexpected BTW, the P+S shoot market collapsed a while back. Which is good for serious photographers as manufacturers are finally making high quality pocket cameras in a bid to make up for the vanishing P+S cameras.
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Ken Bennett

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Re: Unexpected Impact of Migration to Cell Phone Photography
« Reply #3 on: November 19, 2014, 11:35:32 am »


There is no way a cell phone camera is going to be able to take quality photos in a low light situations like a function hall. What does this mean for the future of indoor event photography? Could this actually be a trend that will increase the market for professional event photographers?


I wish, but probably not. The latest cell phones shoot just fine indoors, and the photos are posted to social media immediately. I can't compete with that, and no one seems to be interested in waiting a day for better quality images.
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Paul2660

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Re: Unexpected Impact of Migration to Cell Phone Photography
« Reply #4 on: November 19, 2014, 12:03:34 pm »

Sadly, it's what is quickly becoming defined as "photography", where no print is even made.  The idea of F stop, aperture, or shutter speed means nothing not to mention ISO or ASA.  The "instant me" has become the norm, dump it to facebook, instagram, or twitter, and forget about it.  Most of those images will be lost when they upgrade the phone and forget to back up the images. 

Most if none of these images would make a print, a good print, as no thought is really placed into taking them. 

On the flip side, the web is full of digital images that have been totally faked or had some major Photoshop work done to make them.  Many people now seriously believe that all it takes to make a good print is either plug in your camera/phone to the printer and hit print.  And this will just get worse over time. 

Digital offers a huge advantage over film, at least in my view, but that same advantage is really hurting the perception of what a photograph is. 

Some feel the answer is go back to film, not me.  After all, the vast majority of color film is scanned and then it becomes digital anyway.  B&W is still a process that can be taken from camera to paper with out digital, but even that is becoming rare. 

Trying times indeed.

Paul

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petermfiore

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Re: Unexpected Impact of Migration to Cell Phone Photography
« Reply #5 on: November 19, 2014, 12:19:13 pm »

Whether sad or not depends on your individual point of view...But a true statement from the world of picture making for commerce is, pictures are temporary. Very temporary.....Good enough is all that is needed. There was a time when the absolute best would only be considered, regardless of cost. Within reason of course... ;D


Peter

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Re: Unexpected Impact of Migration to Cell Phone Photography
« Reply #6 on: November 19, 2014, 03:31:08 pm »

Attended a wedding a year ago.  No photographer was hired.

What was interesting was the DJ running the music was also the couple's "Cloud Uploader" who had a projection screen TV and people who attended were using their cell phone cameras to upload to the "Couple's Cloud" and then they appeared on the big screen moments later.

Some were actually quite good on the TV screen and novel in their approach.  Lots of 'selfies' too of sundry people there, and more than any pro would have taken.  Couple may never get prints, but I doubt if they want them either.  People were having a good time with all the cell photo work and some were quite good too.  One guy from Ireland had a cell phone that was quite good in the capture and he could edit with it too.  Wasn't all that bad for screen images.

So it could be that a DJ may be the new camera person now running a photo site for couples.  Whole new generational school of thought: "Your treasured wedding photos saved forever in 'Our Cloud.'" (Off the DJ's biz card.).  Print, in general, may become more irrelevant to the younger generation too, and a cell image may be enough to satisfy them too.

SG
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chez

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Re: Unexpected Impact of Migration to Cell Phone Photography
« Reply #7 on: November 19, 2014, 08:09:14 pm »

Sadly, it's what is quickly becoming defined as "photography", where no print is even made.  The idea of F stop, aperture, or shutter speed means nothing not to mention ISO or ASA.  The "instant me" has become the norm, dump it to facebook, instagram, or twitter, and forget about it.  Most of those images will be lost when they upgrade the phone and forget to back up the images. 

Most if none of these images would make a print, a good print, as no thought is really placed into taking them. 

On the flip side, the web is full of digital images that have been totally faked or had some major Photoshop work done to make them.  Many people now seriously believe that all it takes to make a good print is either plug in your camera/phone to the printer and hit print.  And this will just get worse over time. 

Digital offers a huge advantage over film, at least in my view, but that same advantage is really hurting the perception of what a photograph is. 

Some feel the answer is go back to film, not me.  After all, the vast majority of color film is scanned and then it becomes digital anyway.  B&W is still a process that can be taken from camera to paper with out digital, but even that is becoming rare. 

Trying times indeed.

Paul



But who  defines  exactly what a   photograph  is and what is good enough quality  other than your customer. If  your  customer has moved onward into the digital world,  I suggest you follow  or be left behind.
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Paul2660

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Re: Unexpected Impact of Migration to Cell Phone Photography
« Reply #8 on: November 20, 2014, 10:22:25 am »

But who  defines  exactly what a   photograph  is and what is good enough quality  other than your customer. If  your  customer has moved onward into the digital world,  I suggest you follow  or be left behind.

Glad to see you can make it work for you.  I'll choose to pass for now.

Paul
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Remo Nonaz

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Re: Unexpected Impact of Migration to Cell Phone Photography
« Reply #9 on: December 30, 2014, 05:03:08 pm »

Gad! DJs doing your wedding photos - I can't imagine it. At the very event from which I started this thread, I overheard the DJ bragging that he had over 10,000 songs in his music data base. I didn't have the opportunity to reply to him, but I really wanted to say, "So how come you guys play the same shitty 50 songs at very damn event!"

DJ music - DJ images. Bleeeth!
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Walt Roycraft

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Re: Unexpected Impact of Migration to Cell Phone Photography
« Reply #10 on: December 31, 2014, 09:47:35 am »

I suggest you follow  or be left behind.

I suggest that if you are following, you are already left behind.
Differentiate yourself and move forward. Offer a 2 light set up instead of on camera flash. Be a professional. Educate your clients. You will lose some but you need to be willing to let them go.
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Re: Unexpected Impact of Migration to Cell Phone Photography
« Reply #11 on: December 31, 2014, 09:57:04 am »

Sadly, it's what is quickly becoming defined as "photography", where no print is even made.  The idea of F stop, aperture, or shutter speed means nothing not to mention ISO or ASA.  The "instant me" has become the norm, dump it to facebook, instagram, or twitter, and forget about it.  Most of those images will be lost when they upgrade the phone and forget to back up the images. 

.....

Trying times indeed.

Paul

Could be right about the F stop, aperture, and shutter speed becoming a thing of the past.  I wouldn't be surprised if the next generation picks up a DSLR and wonders how to work the thing verses their cell phone with an app for bokeh, HDR, high-ISO, auto-retouching, auto-sharpen, etc.  Cell will "Do it all for you automatically, and you can remain dumb too if you like!" (jk!)  The DSLR as we now know it may become as obsolete as a flashbulb.

Doubt it?  Hand some youngster an old rotary-dial phone and watch them try and work it.  Even Craig Ferguson on his "Late Night with Craig Ferguson" show had a really old two-piece phone with the separate headset on a wire and most young actors (<25) were befuddled as to how to hold it or work it unless they appeared in a movie with one.

I noticed many young photographers are fearful of even electronic flash.  Far too complicated, so they go for higher ISO and natural light, or try and work with LED lighting as that is easier for WYSIWYG.

As to storage and lost photos, most put them on "The Cloud" now or Instagram, Tumblr, Favebook, or whatever and can retrieve them with a new phone.  Sharing via the web is replacing print.  Plus they have auto-backup forever.  Even replaces "Sync" to something like a laptop or old desktop, both of which may become obsolete too.

Technology is making it far easier.  Changing times indeed...

SG
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JoeKitchen

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Re: Unexpected Impact of Migration to Cell Phone Photography
« Reply #12 on: January 02, 2015, 03:06:09 pm »

Could be right about the F stop, aperture, and shutter speed becoming a thing of the past.  I wouldn't be surprised if the next generation picks up a DSLR and wonders how to work the thing verses their cell phone with an app for bokeh, HDR, high-ISO, auto-retouching, auto-sharpen, etc.  Cell will "Do it all for you automatically, and you can remain dumb too if you like!" (jk!)  The DSLR as we now know it may become as obsolete as a flashbulb.

Doubt it?  Hand some youngster an old rotary-dial phone and watch them try and work it.  Even Craig Ferguson on his "Late Night with Craig Ferguson" show had a really old two-piece phone with the separate headset on a wire and most young actors (<25) were befuddled as to how to hold it or work it unless they appeared in a movie with one.

I noticed many young photographers are fearful of even electronic flash.  Far too complicated, so they go for higher ISO and natural light, or try and work with LED lighting as that is easier for WYSIWYG.

As to storage and lost photos, most put them on "The Cloud" now or Instagram, Tumblr, Favebook, or whatever and can retrieve them with a new phone.  Sharing via the web is replacing print.  Plus they have auto-backup forever.  Even replaces "Sync" to something like a laptop or old desktop, both of which may become obsolete too.

Technology is making it far easier.  Changing times indeed...

SG


I was at ASMP event last year, a "speed-dating" event for photographers and those looking to assist.  Only about a dozen photographers showed up, but over 30 young-photographers came interested in being interviewed and possibly hired later on to assist.  Most all had degrees in photography.  Every photographer interviewed every assistant for about 5 minutes.  

I use a lot of lighting gear, not to mention I gel everything to match ambient and use various other tricks, so I like to make sure anyone I work with knows their stuff.  Only three of those 30+ assistants could tell me a brand-name of strobes.  

I was at our ASMP holiday party this December and one of our fellow members, that I have known for a few years now, told us she recently interviewed a student for a possible internship.  She asked her what cameras she has experience with; the iPhone was the only camera she said that she ever used.  Keep in mind this was a 3 or 4 year art major who said this.  

Our friend told her pretty bluntly that the interview is now over and that I have no use for you.  Our friend reached out to school just to see if there was an issue and found out that 80% of incoming photo students have never used any other camera besides a cell phone camera.  

Pretty scary.  


« Last Edit: January 02, 2015, 03:07:51 pm by JoeKitchen »
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NancyP

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Re: Unexpected Impact of Migration to Cell Phone Photography
« Reply #13 on: January 06, 2015, 11:05:22 am »

I can understand that a student might not have practical experience with studio strobes, but I am flabbergasted that they couldn't name a single manufacturer of strobes.
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riddell

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Re: Unexpected Impact of Migration to Cell Phone Photography
« Reply #14 on: January 07, 2015, 08:47:50 am »


Do you really feel that you were losing work out because of people with P&S's in the first place?

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Remo Nonaz

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Re: Unexpected Impact of Migration to Cell Phone Photography
« Reply #15 on: January 07, 2015, 08:54:59 am »

No. Not at all and I didn't mean to imply that. I was just wondering if the opportunities for professional work might be increased as fewer people take semi-decent shots and documentation of any event decreases. I think the consensus of the forum is that the movement away any kind of "real" camera to cell phones is clear and unstoppable, but no one cares because bad photography is becoming more acceptable. And, of course, the quality of cell phone image capture is improving. Who knows. In a few years there could be cell phones with quality to rival the best cameras available today - but of course the operators will be, for the most part, clueless. 
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LesPalenik

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Re: Unexpected Impact of Migration to Cell Phone Photography
« Reply #16 on: January 07, 2015, 06:50:06 pm »

... bad photography is becoming more acceptable.   

That's true. And often, it complements equally bad writing.
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Jonathan Wienke

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Re: Unexpected Impact of Migration to Cell Phone Photography
« Reply #17 on: January 09, 2015, 09:25:44 am »

It's simply another symptom of the dumbing down / decay of modern society. Like this abomination:

The Belfie Stick
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mbaginy

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Re: Unexpected Impact of Migration to Cell Phone Photography
« Reply #18 on: January 09, 2015, 10:23:39 am »

It's simply another symptom of the dumbing down / decay of modern society. Like this abomination:

The Belfie Stick

And I thought that was a joke!
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Deardorff

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Re: Unexpected Impact of Migration to Cell Phone Photography
« Reply #19 on: January 12, 2015, 06:12:52 am »

The ease of cell phone photos is not good for much of your professional market. "Good enough" is fine for most folks. They don't value photo much past the immediate record of what is happening and getting a grab shot and emailing/phoning it to someone else is pretty much where it starts and ends for them.

Professional work is not appreciated.

When was the last time you saw a charity or group of publication ask a lawyer or a mechanic to provide services amounting to thousands of dollars for free or nearly so because "we don't have a budget for that - but we'll give you a credit line"? We see that with photographers every day. What we do has little perceived value to many and that won't change. Those who do value professional quality find it difficult to locate actual professionals among the 'guys with cameras' out there who believe that owning a camera has them qualified to call themselves Pro Photographers.

Don't worry about the cell phone folks.
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