It seems that the battle between amateur and professional photography has morphed into a fight between a tortoise and a hare. Whereas professional photography emphasizes a stead, carefully thought out, methodical approach to capture that perfect shot, the goal of amateur photography seems to be quite the opposite: to simply capture a shot.
And right now, it appears that the hare is winning. Recently, the iPhone overtook the Nikon D90 as the most utilized camera on the photo sharing service Flickr. And that didn’t even include such apps as Instagram and Hipstamatic, which undoubtedly account for a whole slew of additional photographs.
And now, with the proliferation of such services Twitter and Twitpic, sites that stress timeliness and ‘getting the scoop’ considerably more than they do professionalism, the importance of real, professional photography seems to be shrinking within the real world.
But that’s not to say that it’s necessarily dying, per say. Professional photography will still exist as long as newspapers, magazine and even modeling exist. After all, some mediums will forever require that aura of professionalism that can’t be provided from smartphones just yet.
Even so, smartphone photographs, and particularly iPhone photos, are beginning to sneak their way into professional mediums. Everyday Food, a Martha Stewart magazine, recently ran a spread which included iPhone photography utilizing the iOS app Hipstamatic, an app that allows for the users to take pictures using filters and features reminiscent of old analog cameras.
And no, the photos don’t look nearly as polished as professional ones. But still, they are different, and that’s part of the allure.
Most likely, professional photography using expensive digital cameras will be around for a long, long time. But, utilizing apps and given the benefit of being able to instantaneously post a picture within seconds of taking it, smartphones are beginning to become the go-to medium for producing content that’s relevant to the ‘now, now, now’ society of today.
And while the rapid growth of amateur photography might seem bad at first, it’s already appeared to have had somewhat of a positive impact on professional photography. Hey, maybe in the near future there will be an app that mimics DSLR cameras for that truly professional look and feel.