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The Networked Camera: A qualitative analysis of the practices of image sharing using digital technologies

Hendry, Martin Douglas (2016) The Networked Camera: A qualitative analysis of the practices of image sharing using digital technologies. PhD thesis, University of Leeds.

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Abstract

Since the release of the first generation iPhone in 2007, the popularity of smartphones has increased exponentially. As of 2015, two billion smartphones are in use. It is projected that in 2020 two-thirds of the world will use smartphones. One of the features which underpins the popularity of smartphones is camera which allows users to capture and share images quickly and easily. The smartphone is different from older cameras for three reasons. First, it is held continually in users’ possession. Secondly, smartphones are connected to data networks e.g. cellular and WiFi internet. Thirdly, smartphones offer users customizable camera functions; achieved through use of different software tools. As a consequence of the above, smartphone users are capable of creating and sharing photographic images whenever they wish, with global reach – and in a variety of ways. This thesis investigates the extent that smartphone hardware and software tools are transforming personal photography. To achieve this, the researcher develops a theoretical framework merging: the underpinnings of photography and personal photographic practices through literature review. Then, contemporary smartphone photographic practices are investigated through a set of 6 focus groups with 13-18, 18-25 and 25-35yr olds. Findings are interrogated through application of the framework to identify significant transformations and consistencies with precedent. In lieu of these transformations, a series of design principles are generated for personal photography. These principles characterise the current and enduring expectations users have of personal photography; as well as providing an outline for their future course. These principles offer opportunity for: application in current technologies (e.g. novel or optimized smartphone software tools); reflection upon current limitations of previous photographic technology; and development of emerging photographic technologies. This study includes two key contributions. First: a novel framework is formulated that roots personal photography’s rapidly changing social and technological circumstances in its precedent and ontology. Second: via this framework, the accelerated transformation of personal photography away from a representation act to a mechanism of social exchange (coinciding with smartphone use) is described. This offers scope for: 1) academic enquiry; by further developing the model and exploring ongoing change; and 2) industry development; by configuring new tools and collaborating with existing stakeholders to explore the many untapped opportunities in personal photography as it exists today.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: technology, design, photography, philosophy, design theory, photography theory, the extended self, qualitative content analysis, smartphone, smartphones, culture, personal photography, snapchat, instagram, facebook, twitter, whatsapp, apple, android, ios, selfie
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures (Leeds) > School of Design (Leeds)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.705983
Depositing User: Mr. Martin Douglas Hendry
Date Deposited: 13 Mar 2017 11:46
Last Modified: 25 Jul 2018 09:54
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/16293

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