everybody’s a photographer

Posted: September 4, 2011 in Photography
Tags: , ,

One unmistakable social change over the past decade is the proliferation of photography. Thanks to digital technology we have smartphones with cameras, pocket-sized point and shooters, and DSLRs. Many purists also still use film cameras. This technological leap has made it extremely easy and convenient for everyone from tweens to grandparents to quickly capture whatever passes before their eyes. The upshot is that nowadays everybody’s a photographer.

This somewhat obvious realization came to me several years ago. I was flittering around Princeton as I’ve been known to do, camera in hand. Princeton is my favorite local haunt when I get the urge to shoot and don’t want to travel far. For those of you unfamiliar with it, Princeton is a small community located in central New Jersey. It was inhabited and settled by Europeans in the late 1600’s and for a few glorious months in 1783 served as capital of the United States. Today it’s mostly known as the home of Princeton University. Thanks in large part to concerted preservation efforts fueled by an appreciation of history and obscenely wealthy benefactors, the town – and especially the campus – is rife with photo ops. When you walk through the gates at Nassau Hall it’s about as close to stepping into the past as you can get. At least in New Jersey.

On that particular day it struck me for the first time how many other people were doing what I was. Wherever I turned some person was holding up some type of camera taking some type of photo. Actually, I felt a bit intruded upon. How dare these interlopers do what I’ve done for years! Upon reflection perhaps I was a bit snobby. I’m not the first person to realize what a visual gold mine this place is. People have been photographing Princeton as long as photography has existed.

Since then I can’t help but notice everywhere I go someone is taking a photo. (I also believe this explosion of photography has directly contributed the current environment where anyone with a “professional looking” camera is often treated as a potential terrorist. But that’s another topic for another time.) I’ve considered doing a series of “Everybody’s a Photographer” photos, but can’t find a comfortable hook beyond the evident one. For now I’ll leave it to a blog post.

As you’ve undoubtedly noticed scattered throughout this post are photos of people taking photos. They were all shot in Manhattan a few months ago (over the course of an hour) as I wandered the streets with a couple of friends. On that day, like every other one, I again understood that in this digital age everybody’s a photographer, including me.

  1. John says:

    I suspect many of us think that. Thanks for visiting!


  2. I think the same! Ha!


  3. Cathe says:

    Too funny, I might be one of these people. I have certain had the thought that others are invading my space with their cameras! Or perhaps I’m invading their space with my camera…ahhh…


  4. John says:

    No matter where I am, be it New York, England or East Millstone, there’s always someone lurking about with a camera!


  5. Loved this entry and the accompanying photos!


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