Snapchat Has Created the Next Evolution in Photography

On the topic of photography, here's Owen Williams on the latest out of Snap:

These new “filters” are driven by the community — any user can invent one using free software — allowing creators to make a mark on the physical world by intimately tying it with the digital one. Landmarkers is a genius move, not because it’s weird or perfectly targeted to millennials’ sensibilities — though it is — but because Snapchat wants to redefine the way we think about cameras.
The camera is now the app.

Yep, see above.

That prompts new questions: What is a photo, anyway? Is using software to create a better photo cheating, or is it a natural evolution of the art? The answer, clearly, is that photography has always been fluid and always will be — and that there’s no going back from here.

This was long a basic argument about digital photos in general... Also, are films without special effects not films?

Augmented reality has long promised similar ideas, but they have never really arrived, because the complexities of location combined with object recognition and spatial tracking is difficult without a lot of data. Access to incredibly precise phone sensors and high-quality photos from every vantage point imaginable was not the expected solution to that problem, but Snapchat was able to quietly build the most powerful understanding of the world around us while we were just sharing photos with friends.

Interesting to think that just as Waze and other such tools are allowing us to map the world in new ways, Snapchat's camera is allowing them to effectively map the world in pictures.


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