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Tiny Photos, Big Picture


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Note: the email in this presentation no longer works. I can be reached at jmk (at) …

Note: the email in this presentation no longer works. I can be reached at jmk (at)

Digital cameras continue to enable mass photo capturing and sharing. And now, an ever increasing number of people have cameraphones: always on, always with you, and continuously connected to billions of other mobile devices and personal computers all over the world, allowing us to communicate in new and empowering ways, leading to a shift in our social culture. I’ll discuss the evolution of photography from photographs of record to streams of consciousness, the current and emerging tools for sharing cameraphone photography and new directions for pervasive image capturing and sharing.

Published in: Design, Art & Photos, Technology

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  • Three years later, my thoughts on the 'New Directions' I included at the end:
    1. Empower the now in your designs. Still important and outside of Twitter/Twitpic, not many services do this well. Instagram is an emerging contender for real-time photo sharing.
    2. Create new ways to visualize photos. Humans are capable of absorbing vast amounts of visual information, and we have barely scratched the surface in terms of existing services.
    3. Improve context recognition. This is happening more with geo-aware services such as Flickr and the ability to check-in to Foursquare when posting to Instagram. The next step is to be able to show people within and around photos when they were taken.
    4. Let cameraphone images be cameraphone images. Instagram makes a case for instant filters that make ordinary photos look extraordinary, but this is still an emerging trend.
    5. Take more photos with your cameraphone. Yes please.
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  • 1. Tiny Photos, Big Picture Joshua Kaufman Tiny Pictures, Inc.
  • 2. This is about I. Where snapshot photography came from II. What current trends and research are saying III. Where should we be going?
  • 3. Part I: From photographs to pervasive images
  • 4. In the beginning there was the photograph
  • 5. Kodak Brownie, 1900
  • 6. Kodacolor negative film, 1942
  • 7. Polaroid Model 95A, 1948
  • 8. Fujifilm Quicksnap, 1986
  • 9. Fujifilm DS-1P, 1988
  • 10. The cameraphone, 1997,
  • 11. Portraits
  • 12. Travel photos
  • 13. Event photos
  • 14. Candids
  • 15. This is photography as we (mostly) know it
  • 16. The Polaroid
  • 17. The LOMO
  • 18. The Digital Camera
  • 19. The Cameraphone
  • 20. What the cameraphone is enabling • Capturing the ordinary not just “Kodak Moments” • Topics of conversation; “neta” • Remote presence • Intimate and personal sharing, but ephemeral
  • 21. Memory
  • 22. Social context
  • 23. Self presentation
  • 24. Self expression
  • 25. Functional
  • 26. A desire to share photography
  • 27. Part II: The big experiment
  • 28. Limitations of current photo sharing sites (in the context of cameraphone photography) • Most are optimized for viewing on a PC • Optimized for archiving and organizing • Not optimized for chronology and conversation
  • 29. Measuring the success of sharing services • (Low) Complexity • Conversation • Chronology • Context
  • 30. “Flickr for mobile phones”
  • 31. quot;The photo is a message that is delivered across multiple platformsquot; :(
  • 32. “The player is the delivery channel.” :(
  • 33. “Twitter works. Let’s just add photos!”
  • 34. “The chronology and context matter.”
  • 35. “Conversation is king.”
  • 36. Emerging cameraphone photo sharing themes • Location aware • “Level of interest” and new kinds of context • Tagging • Synchronous sharing
  • 37. Part III: New Directions (five suggestions for continuing the experiment)
  • 38. 1. Empower the now in your designs
  • 39. 2. Create new ways to visualize photos
  • 40. 3. Improve context recognition
  • 41. 4. Let cameraphone images be cameraphone images
  • 42. 5. Take more photos with your cameraphone!
  • 43. (Bonus) Pretend you are from the future
  • 44. Thanks Joshua Kaufman