Hipstamatic HATER

Amid the recent wake of the debate regarding Damon Winter's award winning images from Afghanistan, NYC based photojournalist Michael Christopher Brown took to the streets of Libya armed only with his iPhone.

Select images from Michael Christopher Brown's Libya 2011 - In Progress

Unlike Winter's essay, Brown's appears, for the most part, to draw less attention to his chosen instrument and more on the content and composition of his chosen subject matter. Although I have always been a huge fan of Winter's work, I found his winning essay shot with his iPhone less engaging. If you're curious, Winter discusses his stance on his tool of choice in detail over at the NY Times.

That said, looking at Brown's work I'm  less concerned about the tool he used as I found his images both visually emotive and informative.

Although I don't want to open up the same debate as previously battled on many blogs I do find this new trend in iPhone documentary work interesting. I also feel that the reaction to the use of the iPhone alongside hipstamatic software within the photojournalism community is equally fascinating. It leads me to wonder how this trend will affect the history of photojournalism and future documentary work. 

Personally, I admit, when I first saw everyone posting their hipstamatic photos on every social media hub and website I could think of, I HATED it. I hated that everyone, their moms included, could seemingly make the most banal scene somewhat visually interesting. I hated that it felt like the this new hipstamatic application was just one more threat to making my job as a professional photographer less relevant. I mean, it was bad enough that every hobbyist with the latest digital SLR and Photoshop thought he/she was a "photographer." Right? And now this?!

Having seen Brown's work from Libya and to some degree Winter's I think I might have been missing the point. Besides, why am I threatened by any of this anyway? Shouldn't I just rise to the occasion and strive to get better everyday so that the difference between me and a hobbyist is clearly apparent?

In today's world, as history has proven, expect change, embrace change, and most importantly, as both Winter and Brown have done, take advantage of that change. 

What do you think?