Photography is shifting away from documentation to communication

Nilk Bilton writes for the New York Times on the disruption that the ubiquity that connected cameras are having on how we experience photography. “We’re tiptoeing into a potentially very deep and interesting new way of communicating,” said Mitchell Stephens. From the NYT:

Photos, once slices of a moment in the past — sunsets, meetings with friends, the family vacation — are fast becoming an entirely new type of dialogue. The cutting-edge crowd is learning that communicating with a simple image, be it a picture of what’s for dinner or a street sign that slyly indicates to a friend, “Hey, I’m waiting for you,” is easier than bothering with words, even in a world of hyper-abbreviated Twitter posts and texts.

“This is a watershed time where we are moving away from photography as a way of recording and storing a past moment,” said Robin Kelsey, a professor of photography at Harvard, and we are “turning photography into a communication medium.”

“You have images now that have no possible afterlife,” said Mr. Kelsey. “They are simply communicative.”

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