Apart from texting/tweeting on the smart phone, I believe the other most commonly performed action of today’s daily society is taking photo, or taking a selfie.
How many cameras one person has in average? Each one of us used to own a ‘point and shoot’ all automatic camera, some of us have a more sophisticated compact one, other has a DSLR, or many of us have them all. But ultimately, everyone will have a camera in his phone. No more carrying heavy equipment around, all we need is to take out our phone and take a snap shot. Today, we take pictures of almost everything, the food we eat, people we are with, pictures of ourselves, pictures of buildings, pictures of any little details that we may find interesting, pictures of other people, just anything that we might want to remember. In fact, with the digital technology, we shoot anything even we may not actually want. There is always the <delete> button. What happened to the old school film rolls, to the developing black and white photos in dark room, where satisfaction is achieved through the level of anticipation, waiting for the image to slowly appear on the photo paper? Now we have apps on our phone where we can adjust the image style – black and white, lomo, vintage, tilt shift, fish eye, holga and many others, so a smart phone is all we need. Furthermore we can upload the images instantly on social media and publish them to the world!
Now, why do some people still carry big cameras around? A friend with a full manual super Leica made a comment that it is in fact the whole process of shooting that makes taking picture so interesting – compose, focus on subject, determine the lighting, adjusting the speed and aperture, and finally the sound of the shutter clicking that freezes that moment within this box of complexity, to afterwards reproduce it infinitely. Taking pictures is not just about the image, it is as much about the procedure as the final result, just like everything else, hmm.