The rise of camera phones, Internet photography and civilian photojournalism

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It’s safe to say that the Internet and electronic technology have completely revolutionized the way our society uses photography. Taking a picture has always been the way to freeze time and capture important memories, but never before has it been so unbelievably easy to record those moments and share them with people in every corner of the world.

Popular sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, SnapFish and ImageShack make it easier than ever to instantly upload pictures and share them with an entire network of people. Friends and family who live across the country can stay up to date on each others’ lives simply by getting online and browsing through recently uploaded pictures. Many of these sites also provide an option to upload mobile pictures directly from your camera phone, so you can even share those moments for which you didn’t have a camera.

Camera phones have also contributed to a different kind of information sharing phenomenon. Their wide accessibility has made it possible for ordinary people to capture pictures of newsworthy events and instantly share them with the entire world. Camera phones allow anyone who is in the right place at the right (or wrong) time to engage in impromptu civilian photojournalism.

Anyone who has taken the most basic photography training understands the well-known mantra that a picture is worth a thousand words – and this is especially true when it comes to news reporting. A journalist can write a highly emotional story, but without an accompanying picture it tends to lack a certain amount of humanity. The significance of the event itself is still great, but it is the images of destruction, sorrow, rage or all-consuming joy that tug at the heartstrings of readers and allow them to connect with the story.

A number of significant events from the past six years wouldn’t have been so expertly captured if it wasn’t for the individuals who happened to be there with camera phones. Because it’s so easy to upload pictures, the photographers at these scenes were able to instantly send their influential images to major newspapers and distribute them on the Internet to people all around the world. Some of the major events that were captured by civilian photojournalism include:

* The tsunami that tore through Southeast Asia in 2004

* The terrorist bombings in London in 2005

* The execution of Saddam Hussein in 2006

Clearly the photography industry has changed significantly in recent years. The combination of affordable cameras, accessible camera phones and simple photo uploading techniques has made it easier than ever to capture important events and share them with loved ones or strangers worldwide.

In the same way, professional photography is much different now than it was 20 years ago. Students pursuing careers in this industry today have to take a diverse selection of photography courses that incorporate all the different photographic techniques, tools and technology that currently exist.

Whether you want to pursue a career in photography or simply enjoy the convenience of sharing your pictures on Facebook, the rapidly evolving world of photography has something for you. Be sure to always have your camera phone or digital camera on you, because you never know what you’re going to witness and who else wants to see it.

Information in this article was provided by IADT – Tampa. Contact IADT – Tampa today if you’re interested in developing marketable knowledge and career-relevant skills with an industry-current degree program. (IADT – Tampa does not guarantee employment or salary.)

Courtesy of ARAcontent