Evernote Camera Roll 20140309 231153So I went through the process of consolidating the papers I’ve read over this weekend, and took a first stab at my main argument. Obviously there’s a lot more content linked to these claims, but I was hoping to get some feedback/critique on what I’ve summarized here.

  • Single Claim: If we are to understand the emergence and pervasiveness of Instagram and mobile phone photography, we must first situate its use in the context of both the aesthetic intent of the photographer and its intended audience.
  • Audience for Claim: the HCI community and professional photographers/photojournalists
    • The audience understands the basic technologies and tools available for digital image-making
    • We want to change the underlying belief that Instagram,or any other mobile applications that allow for one-touch photo manipulation, are “ruining” photography
    • Additional technical vocabulary is limited to Instagram-centric terms, such as hashtag (#). In addition, the name of the application itself can be applied as a verb (e.g. “to Instagram” a subject of a photo) in lieu of “photograph” to imply its use of capture, curation, and sharing as part of a set mobile workflow
  • Key supports for Claim:
    • The notion of what is considered a “camera” has undergone several evolutions over the history of photography, and the smartphone camera as evidence of “convergence culture” seeks not to replace the traditional camera, but rather augment it.
    • Image manipulation itself isn’t the entire scope of the problem, but rather the aesthetic misrepresentation of a subject or subject group that is problematic
    • When formerly “offline” activities are brought into the online space (e.g. sharing photos in an album vs. through an online service like Instagram or Flickr), new forms of curation and folksonomy emerge, and these forms of “social storytelling” through images have their own form of aesthetic value.