Crossing Lower Broadway. Greenwich Village, New York City.
In keeping with my promise to post a photo every week taken with my phone, here is this week’s mobile photography post. I am @newyorklens on Instagram (view my feed here). You can read about my thoughts on mobile photography and Instagram here and you can check out some of my Instagram photos on Flickr here.
As I experiment more and more with photo-editing apps for phone cameras, I find myself falling more and more in love with mobile photography. I branched out this past week and tried out Photoforge2 and VSCO and it was something of a revelation to me.
Photoforge2 has quickly become one of my core editing apps for my phone images. It has many of the same tools you would find in Photoshop and/or Lightroom and its features are staggering in their editing and creative capacities. I still also tinker around with Snapseed and Noir.
As my editing app arsenal has grown, I have found myself deeply interested in how the current crop of photo-sharing networks differ from each other. I really love Instagram. The community (or I suppose I should say ‘communities’) there is/are enthusiastic and very welcoming. I can’t remember the last time I had such a high response to things I have shared relative to the amount of people following me. People seem far more invested in the people they follow on Instagram than on other networks I have tried out so far. However, my trials are limited since I have literally only been dabbling in phone photography for a little over 3 weeks and I have only been using a few of the newer networks I have tried for 1 or 2 weeks
A few people I know via other photography communities online turned me on to the world of EyeEm (you can view my limited feed and my EyeEm account here) a few weeks ago and I have been on Streamzoo for as long as I have been on Instagram.
I came across this article last week: Is Instagram Defining, and Therefore Ruining, Mobile Photography? which made for interesting reading in light of my photo-sharing network dabbling. While I feel that some of the author’s points are a bit muddled, there are some interesting points made that could probably be applied to all networks online in terms of the democratization of all forms of photography, mobile or otherwise.
One thing that I think the author may have wrong is that there are some very vibrant, serious mobile photography communities on Instagram that are focused on the art of mobile photography. Instagram is the most popular out of all of the photo-sharing mobile networks though and with multitudes of users comes an increase in noise. I think this is where EyeEm shines for people who are interested in viewing and sharing mobile photography that transcends snapshot-status. I find the talent on EyeEm to be staggering. However, I think that the interface design (specifically for iPhones) is a bit lacking and in some cases non-intuitive. The community is also very small in comparison to a service like Instagram and it can be hard to break through and find other people to interact with.
I will continue to post to all 3 networks though for now. I find that each network has its own strengths and weaknesses. I do enjoy the random spontaneity of my Instagram feed and slipping in a cat photo (or two, or three…or ten :) ) doesn’t feel like an assault to the people following me versus on EyeEm where the level of photography is higher and I feel compelled to post more serious photos!