Photos are being consumed, and captured, in different ways now. If you’ve been faced with using a film camera recently, it may have been a disorienting experience. That’s even before you go and have the pictures “developed.”
Event digital point-and-shoot digital cameras are feeling the heat. In a recent article by Herb Greenberg (@HerbGreenberg), he stated that the digital camera was without a doubt “going the way of the Polaroid” based on industry numbers.
We could debate this topic all day long with hobbyists and professional photographers. However, what we’re interested in here at Whitepoint is what this tells us about the resulting photos and the ways in which people share and consume photos and related content.
The Quality Versus Relevance of Photos
There is no question that better quality photos can be had with DSLRs or point-and-shoots than smartphones – though some smartphones can admittedly come close to the untrained eye. But, what are web users looking for? If image quality was first and foremost, this wouldn’t even be up for debate.
Furthermore, the technical aspects of photo capturing, sharing, and consumption can’t be ignored. The screens of computers and mobile devices simply don’t require the resolutions that DSLRs and now even point-and-shoots can provide. Back in the day, 72dpi was enough for a computer screen. Even now with higher resolution displays, smartphones are more than capable of providing the necessary resolution when capturing a photo.
For the untrained eye, the filters or effects applied to photos may matter more than resolution when viewing those photos on the web. The content of those photos is of course the primary concern.
Photos Versus Photography
This whole debate boils down to user or viewer expectations, and this can be an uncomfortable topic in certain circles.
Professional photographers are no doubt helpful – or even necessary – when designing something for print.
But, are professional photographers required for building a mobile or virtual tour for online delivery? To put it nicely, it’s doubtful.
Why? More and more, it’s about relevance, timeliness, and quantity of photos. Take a look at the adoption of Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram – “quality” and the art of capturing images have necessarily taken a backseat.
As people who appreciate photography, not just photos, this is painful to admit. However, it’s a real truth of the marketplace and state of the technology.by