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Monday, 11 May 2015


Well...we don't know if the reader's photograph was already in digital format. If it wasn't, there is a bit of work involved in digitizing it. Then, the stepdaughter would still need to access that photograph on the phone since the only way to publish on Instagram is through mobile. Finally, photos on Instagram have a very short life. I think the stepdaughter was smart to simply snap a picture of the print.

I have maintained, and will continue to do so, that the photographic community's obsession with lens sharpness and image clarity is generally lost on the average consumer. Most people simply don't care that much, all they care about is getting a reasonably decent image and this is a prime example of this, even though most of us posting here would dispute the "reasonably decent" concept with respect an Instagram cellphone shot.

Twice recently I've been stopped from taking phone snaps at exhibitions of framed prints by iconic masters. The reason given was that I would be able to sell the photographs I had taken as duplicates of the originals!

It seems that most people are entirely satisfied with phone images, even to the extent of believing that phones can forge fine art prints.

I routinely see people posting photos by making a cell phone photo of the rear screen of their DSLR or other camera.

...and that solves the problem of backups (of the snap!) forever.
Once Linus Torvalds (the creator of Linux OS) said that he doesn't do backups - just put the code out and let half of the world copying it...

That is the essence of photography. It takes the particular image in a particular context, removes the context and makes it universal.

This is John Berger's central thesis in Ways of Seeing. The first 5 minutes of the first TV program describes exactly what your reader has experienced https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0pDE4VX_9Kk

Many years ago. when I was younger and dumber, I tried the Art Fair Cicuit with photography. My booth was all set up one day when a couple young girls about my own age at the time, came by and spent a good deal of time admiring the prints. I noticed one of them focusing her camera on one of my photos, so I went to stand in front of the picture and asked if I could help her. Her reply? Get out of the way so she could take a picture....

I'm having a opening of a show of 1979 disco/punk/art party photos in about 15 minutes at the Bard College Library, and I decided to bring a 50 foot roll of work prints on bond paper and a pair of scissors, rather than have kids take cell phone pictures.

Ok the opening is over, and it turns out that people given the choice between actual free prints and a cellphone image of the print prefer the cellphone picture.

LOL, Hugh.

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