Instagram’s Time

Instagram photograph by Michael Christopher Brown

There’s a lot of talk in the ether about Instagrammers versus ‘real’ photographers, but Hurricane Sandy has settled the case.

The Instagram format has proved ideal for capturing the event at the neighbourhood level and for its instant dissemination over the internet. With smart phones in millions of hands, there are photojournalists on every street corner, and they’re all shooting and sharing wildly. At mobilephotogroup.com there’s a constantly updating feed of Sandy images, many of high pictorial quality. I’ll bet the documenting of this catastrophe will be marked as some sort of milestone in the recent history of photography.

Time magazine is harnassing this new form by assigning five photojournalists to cover the event, not with Nikons but with iPhones (the results can be seen here). Its new cover features an Instagram photo of a huge wave on a New York beach.

Instagram photo by Benjamin Lowy

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