Hi Caitlin, who are you? And what are you doing?
I’m an American living in Berlin. I design mobile interfaces by day and do a variety of artsy things in my free time including, in recent months, shooting, processing and uploading a lot of photos from my phone.
What is the the beauty of Mobile Photography in your eyes?
I think image making in general has become much more accessible thanks to the ubiquity of mobile phone cameras. People who are serious about making images are now implicitly following the classic photography school rule to carry your camera everywhere you go. Many more photos are being made and as a result and the craftsmanship around mobile phone photography is on the rise. Relating to street photography, it seems to me that the mobile camera is somehow especially well suited for the subject matter. I am drawn to scenes that contain evidence of people. The beginnings of buildings or their endings. Remains of packaging, a door left open. Spaces the people have moved through, or lived in. I like the urban and the ephemeral.
What is your source of inspiration?
I like the period of time when my surrounds change from feeling foreign to feeling familiar. It’s a time when I can still see the strangeness that first caught my eye but recognize how the same thing will become comfortable, ordinary, and eventually invisible. Or put another way, when I have “new eyes” in a place and can make images with a purpose, not just as a tourist who is passing through.
In your view, what is your most meaningful picture?
Photographs of people tend to resonate with meaning in a way that urban scene often can not. The phone camera has a low barrier for use and people seem more comfortable being photographed by phones then by a more camera-looking camera. I’ve had some very nice results where my subjects appear particularly camera-oblivious.
Finally, what are your predictions for this year? Where is Mobile Photography going?
I’ve seen some really cool new photo apps this year. For example, QuadCamera for the iphone snaps multiple images in a row and then applies a a lomo filter, the result is either a grid of 8 images, or a short stop-motion digital flip book. I think innovation will continue in the app area pushing what is possible with built in cameras and filtering on the device. I can see post processing on the PC going by the way side as options for filtering photos on the phone expand and as more people start uploading to the internet straight from the device.