SmartPhones & Snapshots – The Old Wave Morphs Into The New Wave

Some time has passed since I researched and wrote about the coming new wave in photography, the dominance of cell phone cameras, specifically the new generation of SmartPhones. (SmartPhones Morphing into The New Point & Shoot Camera for Consumers, August 3, 2011, published on this site, and published in Professional Photographers of California’s September magazine.)

As an exclamation mark to my article, I heard Paul Simon’s song, ‘Kodachrome’ the other day and began to think about how art imitates life (and vice versa at times.) I thought about that song and wondered when it was written. (Kodachome is one of the first color films to become popular with 35mm camera users.)

It turns out the song was popular in 1973, about the same time Americans were running around buying 35mm film cameras thinking they could do the same thing as professional photographers. Consumers armed with this new technology didn’t really need pros and many photographers closed their doors during this time. Eventually, consumers grew weary of carrying bulky cameras and lenses and realized these big cameras were not for them, they couldn’t perform like the pros. Just as they are today, as they move to carrying only their SmartPhone armed with a camera.

Those times are a corollary to today’s events, today’s convergence of a weak economy with changes in technology, that lead people to be ‘do-it-yourselfers’ with their cameras.

While this chapter of history is closed, history is yet to be written about today’s trend in our technologically driven society. Enjoy these lyrics by Paul Simon and think about where our society has been, and is headed today.

‘Kodachrome’ by Paul Simon

When I think back on all the crap I’ve learned in high school
It’s a wonder I can think at all
Though my lack of education hasn’t hurt me much
I can read the writings on the walls

Kodachrome, they give us those nice bright colours
They give us the greens of summers
Makes you think all the world’s a sunny day, oh yeah
I got a Nikon camera, I love to take a photograph
So mama don’t take my Kodachrome away

If you took all the girls I knew when I was single
Brought ’em all together for one night
I know they’d never match my sweet imagination
Everything looks worse in black and white

Kodachrome, they give us those nice bright colours
They give us the greens of summers
Makes you think all the world’s a sunny day, oh yeah
I got a Nikon camera, I love to take a photograph
So mama don’t take my Kodachrome away

Mama don’t take my Kodachrome away, mama don’t take my Kodachrome away
Mama don’t take my Kodachrome away

Mama don’t take my Kodachrome, mama don’t take my Kodachrome
Mama don’t take my Kodachrome away
Mama don’t take my Kodachrome and leave your boy so far from home
Mama don’t take my Kodachrome away
Mama don’t take my Kodachrome, whew whew, mama don’t take my Kodachrome away