Life before the smartphone
In 1888, George Eastman introduced the first handheld amateur camera, the Kodak. Suddenly, almost anyone could take a photograph, appalling many serious photographers who felt that their art form was being appropriated by the untalented general public. 25 years later, in 1913, Oskar Barnack at Ernst Leitz Optische Werke designed a revolutionary small, light camera that used 35 mm cinema film: the Leica. Barnack wanted to make photography more accessible to far more people; to give those people greater opportunity to photograph the world around them without having to relying on bulky, expensive equipment; to shoot candid, real pictures of their lives; a radical departure from the stiff and formal portraits of the time. He designed his camera to be an “integral part of the eye” or an “extension of the hand.” Such advancements only intensified the debate surrounding photography as art; if anyone could take a photograph then photography could not possibly be viewed as a coveted art form. 94 years later, the iPhone helped to kick-start another revolution that not only changed the way in which we take and view photographs, but also changed the way in which we view the world.