Some call it, IPhoneography final .docx

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    Chloe Eastburn 1

    Chloe Eastburn

    WRD 103 Composition & Rhetoric

    Blair BanwartNovember 1

    st, 2013

    Some call it, IPhoneography

    Ive always felt that those who choose to capture images of the world through a

    lens do not always fit, and should not have to fit everypersonscriteria of a real or true

    photographer. Photography has long been one of the most beloved art forms, for it allows

    the artist complete freedom to capture and publish what theybelieve to be beautiful or

    important. There are no criteria, no rules, and no guidelines. Of course there are strategies

    and techniques involved in snapping the perfect photo. For example, one must always

    consider perspective, space, the subject, and the emotion each photo should embody. We

    embrace the photographs taken throughout this world, from each country and region they

    come from. So, who are we to judge the person behind the lens? More importantly, who

    are we to degrade or belittle someone committed to this craft because of the mode and

    method of taking pictures they have chosen, or is most easily available to them? People

    who own iPhones, and more specifically, who have a serious and devoted interest in

    taking photos and sharing them with numerous communities across the globe, should be

    considered photographers too.

    The IPhone has practically become a universal device. Cell phones, of course,

    were used almost everywhere- but the special advancements and extremely technological

    components of the IPhone made it an attractive product, one that is appealing to an

    incredibly wide variety in age, gender, and race. This phone is sleek, compact, and should

    be taken more advantage of. The camera on the typical IPhone is rather cutting-edge, and

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    could easily be utilized by many to take focused, striking photographs. Artists

    everywhere, journalists, filmmakers, or people who happen to capture a phenomenal

    moment, deserve credit and respect for whatever body of work of photos they produce,

    whether it come from an expensive Nikon or Cannon, or from the phone in their back

    pocket. What matters is what is captured, not the camera itself. In fact, some professions

    or people in their current day jobs find the camera on the IPhone to be an excellent

    resource. Featured on the National Geographic website, under the Photography tab, was

    an article by Cotton Coulson titled Tips for Better IPhone Photography. The article

    included photos of the current project he was working on, and states, The best camera to

    have is one that is with you all the time (Coulson1).

    Every year since 2007, people who take pictures on their IPhones, which they

    believe to be worthy or impressive, have the

    opportunity to enter a legitimate contest for

    photography. It is called the IPhone

    Photography Awards, abbreviated IPPA. They

    have a large fan base and an up and running

    website that displays each years winners. You

    can enter photographs under an array of topics

    such as: people, nature, animals, children,

    news/events, seasonal, architecture, etc. And

    every year, an assortment of winners are selected

    and featured on the website. A few examples of

    the extraordinary work chosen can be seen in this

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    paragraph. The first photo, of a young womans eyes was part of the selection of 2013

    winners of the IPPAs. This award was given under the category: people. Another

    impressive photograph taken depicts uproar amongst a people, crowded together,

    huddled, and united, submitted and chosen as a winner under the topic: news/events.

    Another reason why photography on the IPhone has flourished so, is the use of

    photo developing applications on the cell phone itself. One in particular that represents a

    community of regular people sharing their photographs is called Instagram. While this

    application can be used for more clich or irrelevant photos that I will discuss later, it

    also allows a free space for artists to share their work with a multitude of communities

    and other artists around the world. For example, a few instagrammers consider

    themselves storytellers, and because their pictures are shared with the public, are able to

    communicate with one another, and thrive off of each others work. Some even meet each

    other through Instagram, and arrange to meet up in one persons hometown. Then the two

    take photographs of one another and their surroundings on the trip- and publish them on

    their Instagram sites, sharing their journey with their followers. Here are a couple

    examples of photography being shared with the public on Instagram.

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    Of course, this does not go without saying that sometimes what is considered a

    great or worthy photo on a social media website or app isnt exactly what we think of as

    traditional or even acceptable photography. For example, in many ways the iPhone has

    introduced several methods in which people can photograph and share useless, offensive,

    humiliating, or ludicrous images- take the idea of the selfie, a rather embarrassing

    phenomena, but one that has been widely accepted as the new common form of taking a

    photograph of yourself. You dont even need to turn your hand around to take the picture-

    simply touch a button on a touch sensitive screen, how practical! There seems to be a

    stigma attached to the iPhone and taking photos on it. The classic, teenage girl or boy

    taking pictures of their food before they even eat it, or the tween girl who takes a pretty

    picture of a tree with the sunlight peeping through, who now thinks she has just taken the

    best photograph of a tree known to man when she slaps a filter on it and edits it to no end.

    Other examples of photos taken with cell phones that degrade the name and credibility of

    the iPhone are unfortunate pictures of teenagers, or young adults flaunting their illegal

    substances around in an attempt to impress their peers. Or, pictures of young women who

    feel the need to sexualize their bodies and appear to be perfect to their friends on social

    media websites. Generations of young kids seem to genuinely feel that this is the only

    way to express themselves as cool, or worthwhile as people. Unquestionably, this stigma

    does have its points. Regardless of the issues with photographing precarious things,

    teenagers who flaunt their activities in a degrading or inappropriate way are not the only

    ones using IPhones. More importantly, these are not the photographs I am talking about

    specifically.

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    The importance of fostering artists, in whatever shape or form they come in, is

    part of what makes the art world today so special. Powerful images can still be captured

    on the IPhone, and many times, can deliver an emotional impact from the viewer. Part of

    the reason of what makes the IPhones camera so special is its portableand accessible

    qualities. A moment with friends, or a protest in the streets, a smile from a loved one, or a

    sunset over a lake, all sound like important memories, worthwhile of a great photo. Who

    is to judge if they were taken on a cell phone? While bias and judgment will be passed

    regardless of what anyone says, I am still confident in the idea that IPhoneography is a

    real form of photography and art. It only seems better to accept the evolution of

    technology and embrace its advancements, instead of hiding behind them in shame, or

    degrading work done with the IPhone. It is clear that established awards have been given,

    people in their careers see the camera on the IPhone to be practical, and small

    communities across the world are being formed, that commit themselves and their work

    to being labeled as, IPhoneography, and the many brilliant moments one can capture, at

    the touch of their finger.

    The idea that now that everyone deserves the right to be considered a

    photographer, if they are committed to their projects and want to pursue photography as

    their craft, begs the question- is there no such thing as a real photographer anymore? By

    no means am I trying to push out the old and welcome in the new here. Classic

    photography, taken with extremely large cameras, and sets, lighting, a work space, a

    studio to have an art show with- are all wonderful means of giving art back to the public.

    However, we live in a world currently where most things are digitalized and on the

    internet- so why not embrace and learn from the past, and continue on in the future? Let

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    us support those with blogs, and websites, whose only means of publishing their work, is

    through the Internet, or on their cell phone. Let us never forget, and continue to flourish

    through photography spaces, but also incorporate the new technology we are being

    supplied with. The IPhone is a powerful tool, and at times, could make those who are the

    subjects of photographs feel more comfortable. In one case, a man took his phone and

    phone only on a trip to stay and photograph soldiers during wartime. Author James Estrin

    is quoted as saying, Whenever possible, I avoid writing about the camera gear. The

    photographer takes the picture, not the equipment. Few people care what kind of

    Typewriter Hemmingway used (Estrin 1).

    The ease and availability of an excellent camera in your purse, pocket, or hand,

    redefines the idea of photography. Sure, there is a beauty to waiting for a photograph to

    emerge on Polaroid film, or watching the thick photo paper drip with water as an image

    slowly appears as you stand in a dark photo room. Regardless, there are too many

    magnificent moments, ones of turmoil, chaos, and countless quiet instances in our world

    that go un-captured. I firmly believe that there is so much left unnoticed in our lives

    today, that when the iPhone was introduced into society and developments in technology

    were made, including incredible improvements to the cell phone camera, every moment

    you experienced or witnessed suddenly becomes a moment worth capturing on camera,

    or a moment worth sharing with friends, family, and admirers. Why limit ourselves to

    photography standards? Why limit the range of quality photos that could be captured-

    depicting: love, friendship, war, death, riots, politics, anger, kindness, nature, and more

    immeasurable pieces of this puzzle we call- life. There seems to be no sense in judging or

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    generalizing a photograph if it was taken on an IPhone. Let us learn to take advantage of

    a great tool that so many of us use today.

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    Works Cited

    Brooks, Katherine. "IPhone Photography Awards 2013: You Will Not Believe These

    Amazing Photos Were Taken With A Smart Phone." The Huffington Post.

    TheHuffingtonPost.com, 14 Aug. 2013. Web. 01 Nov. 2013.

    .

    Coulson, Cotton. "Photo Gallery: Tips for Better IPhone Photography."National

    Geographic. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Nov. 2013.

    .Estrin, James. "Finding the Right Tool to Tell a War Story."Lens Finding the Right Tool

    to Tell a War Story Comments. N.p., 21 Nov. 2010. Web. 01 Nov. 2013.

    .

    "IPPAWARDS | 7th Annual IPhone Photography Awards."IPPAWARDS 7th Annual

    IPhone Photography Awards RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Nov. 2013.

    .

    Tchebotarev, Evgeny. "The Future of the IPhone Camera: How the New IPhone May

    Forever Change the Way We Think About Pro Photography."PetaPixel RSS.

    PetaPixel, 10 June 2013. Web. 01 Nov. 2013.

    .