Do you remember back in the old days when we used to carry around a few photos in some plastic sleeves in our wallets? That was just a bit before I was old enough to share pictures so I never did that, but I remember seeing my father pull out his wallet and show pictures of his family to his friends back in those days. Isn’t it crazy to think about the fact that only a few decades ago, that was the primary way people shared photos?
I remember a time when special photographs were considered sacred, but those days are long gone. Now we plaster them all over the Internet for everyone to see. Now that pretty much everyone has a camera on their smartphones, the hobby of photo sharing has exploded, and the lines between what is considered private and what is considered public continue to be a hazy blur.
According to Jeff Bullas, there are 3,000 images uploaded to Flickr every minute (not every day or every week but every minute). And, we all know that there are over three billion photographs uploaded to Facebook every month. It’s insane really. There is a whole Facebook psychology behind many of those photos, but that is not what this article is about. Recently artist Erik Kessels created an installation for Foam in Amsterdam to illustrate how we are “drowning in representations of other people’s experiences.” He did this by printing out every image uploaded to Flickr in a 24-hour period. This installation is on display for an exhibit about the future of photography.
You’ve probably noticed that in many black and white photos taken in the early 1960s and before, most people aren’t smiling, right? That is simply because back in those days, people viewed photography as simply a way to document history, nothing more. It wasn’t considered to way to remember happy times, so the style of the photos was very different than it is today. Photography is definitely evolving like the world around it, and it’s become a real art form. The real question is, do you think there can ever be too many photographs shared online? Is that even possible? Hmm…