Are Smartphones Killing Photography?

There were times when photography wasn’t easily accessible to the general public. With the advancements in mobile technology, though, everybody has a camera in their pocket. Almost everyone is a “photographer.” Renowned film director and photographer Wim Wenders shares his thoughts on why he thinks photography is dead—and that mobile phones are to blame:

“I do believe that everybody’s a photographer. We are all taking billions of pictures, so photography is more alive than ever, and at the same time it’s more dead than ever.”

Wenders feels that the main problem with photographs taken with a smartphone is that nobody bothers to have a look at them—including the person who takes them. And practically no one bothers about making prints. The life of the photo is very short these days. Wenders, on the other hand, loves to take Polaroid pictures, which he says are the opposite of what smartphone photos are.

Some might argue that smartphone photography is more creative today than ever, thanks to all those filters that make a photograph look beautiful. But Wenders believes that the less you have, the more creative you tend to get, and that slapping on filters is not necessarily a sign of creativity.

Wim Wenders on Mobile Photography

And what about selfies? Wenders compares the act of taking selfies to looking at a mirror; it is not photography.

For Wenders, photography is a more truthful testimony of the world than painting. But thanks to all the apps that are available today, most photographs aren’t true anymore. People look at photographs and think they have been manipulated in some way.

“I’m in search for a new word for this. New activity that looks so much like photography but isn’t photography anymore. Please let me know if you have a word for it.”

With all his statements, the message that Wenders is trying to send is that photography is not as simple as taking a photo, using some in-built filters, and posting it to social media. He is definitely not trying to slam the genuine talents who have taken extraordinary images using a smartphone, though. What do you think? Is smartphone photography really killing the creativity behind photography?

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