Shooting Wolves from Helicopters
Using the phone in my pocket as a camera has definitely been confusing. On the one hand, what was once treasured and valuable has become cheap and commonplace. When I used to photograph with a large format camera, it took an incredible amount of time, energy, expense, even organization, as I could never get straight which film holders I had used and which were still unexposed. I remember running through the fields of a labor camp with a giant bucket of fixer, the liquid splashing all over me every time I tried to catch up with a picture. Now a 99-cent “app” mimics the same look, and I do not even know how it works or what it is doing. At the same time, the IPhone is opening a whole new door to the visual world. I can walk out of the house and run life’s daily errands, fighting for parking, shopping for dinner, taking the subway to a meeting…I always have a “camera” with me.
When I’m honest with myself, I do not care so much about the debate and the ethics of all this “cheating”. I’m having fun, and enjoying photography. That has always been enough.