What I'm Reading: The Symbiotic Relationship of Film & Mobile

I was mid-scroll through some film news recently and saw this article. I had to stop and give it a read--I'm glad I did. One note before diving into the article---the use of "mobile" and "digital" refer to mobile phone photography and digital compact/midsize/SLR photography, respectively.


The thesis, supported by a unique title, is as follows:


Photography with mobile phones has and will continue to play a significant role in the revival and evolution of film photography.


Intriguing. But how?


It appears much of the reasoning revolves around exposure (pun intended)---and rightfully so. There is a reason why film users are using, and plan on continuing to use, film. It it fun, it is exciting, it is tangible, it is unique. In many ways, more so than digital. And as hard as it is to believe, you can see and feel this in the users' posts. Whether Instagram, blog, or message board, people are being more frequently exposed to this palpable excitement and the images produced. The tonal dynamics, colors, contrast, and defects. In many ways, mobile has allowed film to violently slap prospective users in the face and yell "REMEMBER ME?!".


The author makes many great points in the article however the most thought provoking section discusses how mobile is, in many ways, killing digital photography. The clam: "the rise of Mobile photography inversely plots of the collapse of DSLRs and mid-range compacts." All this despite the obvious shortcomings in image quality because mobile, when compared to digital, is more output-oriented. This claim is supported by interesting rumors which point towards certain camera makers *cough* Olympus *cough* actually exiting the industry altogether. While the rumor proved false, the logic is sound: It becomes increasingly difficult for camera companies to compete when most consumers are already carrying a perfectly capable camera with them at all times.


Will those of us still using digital cameras alongside film soon be hash-tagging #digitalisnotdead?

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