Friday, 2 November 2012

Two Storms

The John B. Caddell, a tanker ship, ran aground on Staten Island during the Sandy storm surge |Photo by Benjamin Lowy—Reportage by Getty Images for TIME

Two storms have raged this week. First came the actual storm in Hurricane Sandy and then came the second storm about how it was covered by photojournalists who chose to use a certain iPhone app.

Much of the argument stems from this post criticizing the use of mobile photography during Hurricane Sandy. During a time when much of the infrastructure was down, people were on the move and people were after information - ANY information - mobile photography seemed not a bad choice of tool to use.

Let's not forget that Instagram is a publishing platform. Earlier today i re-tweeted a comment from @lpvmagazine who correctly stated :-

'The most interesting thing about Instagram IMO is that it's primarily a real time network/platform. Too much focus on aesthetics.' 
 Getting images out to an audience is what the Instagram network is built for. Forget all the vintage style photo filters. Forget all the photos of cats, food and family photos. Instagram is, at core, a real time publishing platform that can distribute imagery over a variety of communication networks. Then consider the challenging conditions facing people who were probably relying on mobile phones for most , if not all, of their communication.

How long does it take to process a DSLR image from the card to the net? Can you do it direct from the camera? How much gear/technology do you need to accomplish the task? Real time? Heck no.

Are we really that surprised that a device that can take photographs AND upload them in real time ( or damn close to it)to a waiting audience became the tool of choice for some photographers? I'm not.

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