I have been positively, photographically energized by the mobile sphere of life since February. Picked me up a budget-level, super shoddy smartphone at that time complete with horrendous image quality and no real ability for re-printing... and promptly left much higher quality images and DSLR capability in the dust and rubble of clunky three, four, and five step processes and editing sessions.
Click n' go, moment-by-moment captures with the ability to share in seconds is poignant when considered in the context of our connected age and the simple desire to include others and be included. There is a mountain of nastiness and annoyance out there, but regardless of the quality I couldn't be more happy with society's insistence on sharing their snapshots en masse, and some of it with an increasing tendency towards preserving and relishing the Beauty we come across in its many forms. There's some kind of edification in there, presenting a glistening morning from a mountain vista, or a great home-cooked meal attempt shared with a friend, or that wicked tattoo that hurt like the dickens and is still raw, or your cat, and your cat, or that cat, and your cat, and that other cat...
Say what you will about smartphone kiddies, Instagram, digital saturation, digital INUNDATION, but I see this age of the everyday Creator as a wonderful thing. I like seeing people explore their world, or look at it with a new eye, or sharing what they feel is slightly more important than the mundane, or just having fun even when they're bored. I also like seeing amateur and professional photographers finding powerful platforms to cast their work outward, or to more closely connect their moment-by-moment output and process with community.
That being said, I picked up the DSLR for the first time in nine months and took a whirlwind, all-day photo-tour of my town's local Grape & Fall Festival . Pristine quality images, focal ability, and the newly revisited effect of being *noticed* as someone who is photographing. The big, black chunk of a DSLR calls a perilous attention to itself in a world of phone cams, and people respond in new ways from what I remember. They open up to you, smile for you, shy away from you. You're largely ignored with a smartphone. I'll be posting some of those here soon enough, but it's had me thinking about the cross between dedicated photography and happenstance (or "immersion") photography, something I thought existed as a divide between REAL photographers and camera phone users, or even FILM photographers and everyone else. Snobbish bullshit, Jesse, snobbish bullshit. Art is something that transcends the tool, the aesthetic, and sometimes even the moment-to-moment. Don't put a damper on it, don't tell me Instagram is terrible or that medium format is the only way to fly, just get out there and practice it with whatever you have on hand. Moment by moment. It all boils down to experiencing and wanting to share.
You can check out my ongoing 'lo-fi' stuff at http://jessehebert.tumblr.com/, and I plan to re-vitalize this site with increased DSLR and studio work down the road. Please, enjoy this world, folks, as much as you possibly can.
P.S. So what if four trillion people have already taken a black and white picture of a dandelion? Go take your black and white picture of a dandelion!
P.P.S. May it be your best black and white dandelion picture ever.