A Toast to Photo Phones
You've got to read this article: "Why will wireless camera phones revolutionize the photography industry?" by Evan Nisselson in the latest edition of The Digital Journalist. Nisselson is a photographer/photo editor/digital-photo executive commenting on the impact that he expects photo cell-phones to have. I've written on this topic, and afterward heard from some photographers dissing my suggestions that a public carrying photo phones will alter the news photography landscape. (It's been the usual argument, that amateurs with low-resolution devices can never supplant trained professionals.) But Nisselson shares my enthusiastic view of how photo phones change everything. It's refreshing to read this positive outlook of the photo-phone phenomenon, rather than just defensiveness. And Nisselson points out how the devices will forward the photojournalism profession, not undermine it. He dismisses the devices' current poor quality -- often cited by pro photographers -- as a red herring; resolution is improving rapidly as photo-phone technology improves.
Here's a great excerpt from the article, as Nisselson quotes David Friend on applications for photo phones: "Sales people in the field connecting to the home office; photography scouts scouting shoot locations; many things Polaroid's are used for now; grandkids/kids connecting with faraway parents/grandparents; disasters and breaking news events shot by local citizenry, EMS (emergency) workers, etc."
This article points out another emerging trend brought by photo phones: Still photographers can soon look forward to instant transmission -- from the camera -- such that they can compete directly with TV videographers transmitting live video. Photo-phone technology will soon be on digital cameras used by professionals. This is big.