The Culture of Instant Photography

In the past, when the culture of photography nurtured a slower process, I would tag photos and organize them by album before posting them online. These days, most of my photography is instantaneously captured and shared in a live stream through FacebookFlickr, and Instagram.

Photography is one of the more difficult creative works to wrangle. Unlike pottery or painting, it’s possible with photography to create thousands of photos. In just one of my photo libraries, I have over 37,000 photos taken from 2004 to 2013.

High quality cameras in smart phones combined with social media integration has made it possible to deliver photography instantaneously. At such a fast pace, there is less time to consider how we might organize and make photography accessible in a meaningful way. This makes photo-centric websites underutilized. Software, such as ApertureiPhoto, or Lightroom can automatically organize photos by date, location, and even identify people with facial recognition, but automated tagging isn’t available yet.

When I’m using my Canon EOS Rebel T2i DSLR camera, I have several lenses to choose from, and the process of photography slows down. Like eating a meal slowly, there’s more mindfulness of the process and I’m more engaged in the experience.

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