K. Hoell

To mobile or not to mobile

6. May 2019
Written by: Kristin Hoell

I love mobile photography. I love it so much! Do I need to repeat?

Yes, I’m a professional photographer. During years of study, I learned my ropes in the darkroom, developed my own rolls of black and white film and printed my favourite shots. I do possess expensive high-tech-camera-equipment for commissioned work. But I have to say: There’s nothing like mobile photography. It’s cheap, it’s convenient, it’s ever-present, it’s sharable (and that’s why photographers become photographers, to share their view of the world with other people who might perceive it very differently) and it looks good.

Modern Day Street Photography

For me, personally, it’s the closest thing to authentic street photography ever since I stopped using my analogue Nikon with the standard 50mm lens or my analogue Olympus Mju point-and-shoot-camera. For my conceptual photography, I’ve always worked with small cameras with fixed focal lengths. It was a small step to use my smartphone after saying my long goodbye to analogue photography. RIP, my good old friend.

Mix and Match analogue and digital

The quality of smartphone-photography has become so good, that it’s no problem at all to mix and match analogue and digital photography in exhibitions. People don’t even realise the difference anymore. Digital Processing and coherent printing helps with that.

I have personally stopped talking about the equipment that I am using for my photography. I don’t think it’s relevant for the viewer to know. I need to know what I’m doing with my equipment to make sure I get the result that I want. No one else needs to peek behind the curtain of production – now that the darkroom is gone, I like to keep a bit of mystery in my photography in that way. Plus, does it really make a difference? And why would it? A printed photograph is a printed photograph. If you like it, you like it. What’s the matter with equipment obsession or valuing photographs who are made with a large format film camera over one made with an iPhone? It’s crappy elitist thought sh*t. None of that applies anymore in painting, where works of art made with crayons sell for millions (see Cy Twombly), let’s establish the same freedom of production to photographic art. 

Democracy of Photography Production

If used correctly, competition is a beautiful thing. Thus it’s great that everybody is a photographer today. Another development that I love. I hear most people say this in vain. “Everybody can photograph today”,  they say with a stiff upper lip and you feel like you have to give them an encouraging pat on the back. Sorry, hun, you’re not a unicorn. We all swim in a massive swarm of people snapping away with their smartphones. And isn’t that great? Isn’t it fantastic that so many people discover the power of photography? I’m so happy that they get to experience the effects of photography on their personal lives, that they get to share their experiences and discoveries with their friends and family, that they can more easily connect with others by showing them, what they’re up to. 

Intuitive Snappers vs. Proactive Creators

Does that make everyone a professional photographer? Absolutely not. That requires training, better equipment, a lot of work, persistence and most important consideration and a unified vision so that you can finally eventually the swarm of intuitive snappers and join the more exclusive club of proactive creators.

Venice through the Smartphone-Lens

To enjoy a virtual trip to Venice, entirely photographed on a smartphone, follow this link: https://khoell-venice.tumblr.com/  

 

Boat Trip Venice by visual artist and photographer Kristin Hoell

Boat Trip Venice, photo by Kristin Hoell

Kristin Hoell is a visual artist and photographer who is currently based in Berlin, Germany. Her works have been shown in solo and group shows throughout Europe. Prints are available: info@kristinhoell.com

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