Commoditisation of photography

I have been reading 'The Photograph' by Graham Clarke, supplied with my course materials. Had a strange thought that the effect of the launch of the Kodak Brownie in 1900 may be somewhat mirrored in what's happened in the last decade or so with the smartphone and Internet.

The Brownie put cameras into the hands of many more people: for almost 60 years previously it had been the preserve of those that could afford to make or commission a camera, which was more like a hand-crafted piece of furniture than a tool.

112 years after launching the Brownie, Kodak filed for Chapter 11, so I wonder how 100 years from now how people will reflect on the impact of the smartphone / Flickr / Instagram / citizen-journalism generation on photography. I also wonder who will have survived from the current crop of manufacturers, if any, because, as Thom Hogan says here, it's just possible you already have the last camera you'll ever need...


Clarke, G. 1997. The photograph. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Wikipedia. 2014. Brownie (camera). [online] Available at: [Accessed: 17 Feb 2014].

BBC News. 2014. New Kodak emerges from bankruptcy. [online] Available at: [Accessed: 17 Feb 2014].

Hogan, T. 2014. Last Camera Syndrome | byThom | Thom Hogan. [online] Available at: [Accessed: 17 Feb 2014].

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