NYT's front-page Instagram: Maybe not the end of photography

Nick Laham | The New York Times | Business Insider | The Wall Street Journal

Nick Laham "took what space I could get and worked with it" to capture of New York Yankees players on the team's photo day.

So yes. That was me in the locker room bathroom shooting portraits of the New York Yankees players with my iPhone.

He processed the photos with Instagram, and one ended up on the front of The New York Times Sunday:

"This is a problem for traditional photography," Megan Rose Dickey writes in Business Insider.

It used to be that you needed darkroom skills to make your photos look great. Then when things switched to digital, you at least needed to be able to make your way around Photoshop.

Now Instagram handles it all, and it looks great for editorial purposes. There's still going to be a challenge getting the great shots, and an iPhone can't handle a lot of circumstances. But the skills needed to make beautiful shots that are worthy of the cover of a newspaper continue to diminish rapidly.

"Skills" seems like the wrong word -- in addition to an app that people usually use to take pictures of sunsets and fancy cocktails they've ordered, Laham is an accomplished sports portraitist who had access to the New York Yankees' spring-training facilities. If his Yankees photos summon any larger narrative for photography, it may be how they've gotten out.

For instance, you can look at more photos from that set on Laham's blog or, since Getty licensed the photos, on The Wall Street Journal's site.

Previously: Is Instagram’s social network dumbing down photography? | Instagram users are posting 10 Hurricane Sandy pictures every second | The benefits, drawbacks of using camera phones as a photojournalist

  • Andrew Beaujon

    Andrew Beaujon reported on the media for Poynter from 2012 to 2015. He was previously arts editor at TBD.com and managing editor of Washington City Paper. He's the author of the 2006 book "Body Piercing Saved My Life," about Christian rock and evangelical Christian culture.


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