Photographic Literacy.

October 24, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

 

Mobile phones have changed us. The Internet made Earth a smaller place, and now it’s pocket-sized. To paraphrase theoretical physicist Michio Kaku, we are witnessing the growth of a Type I telephone system, the communication network for a global community. Images are at the forefront of this evolution. Unhindered by language or cultural barriers, they tell stories words can’t. In order to grow ourselves and improve our ability to communicate, we must learn to make good pictures.

“The illiterate of the future will be ignorant of the use of camera and pen alike.”

Those words spoken by Hungarian painter Laszlo Moholy-Nagy in 1936 couldn’t be more accurate. More than 70 years ago, he recognized photography would revolutionize communication, technology just needed to catch up. Cameras today are so small and software so advanced a phone is all you need. The rise of mobile photography is directly responsible for the success of online communities like Instagram. Communication is no longer one-way. It’s not even two-way. Today, we have conversations between multitudes of people and, if we’re lucky, those conversations become relationships.

If you follow me, you know I’m very active on Instagram. I’ve had the good fortune to meet many like-minded people there. We come from different backgrounds and share different opinions, but within each of us is a visceral need to create through the process of photography. For someone working a 9 to 5, like me, it’s liberating to take, edit, share and talk about a photo anytime, anywhere and with a global audience. Today’s photo comes from my iPhone 5. It was taken with ProCamera; edited in Snapseed, Handyphoto and Mextures; and posted on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and Flickr. It’s a long way from how things used to be done. The art of photography and communication is evolving and we photographers must evolve too. Share your knowledge, teach your friends and family what makes a good image and how to tell a story with pictures. Do that and become a progenitor for the new way people communicate.

 


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