Iconic photos in the era of cell phone cameras - New York News

Iconic photos in the era of cell phone cameras

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No question that in this age of citizen journalism everyone is a photographer and everyone can share their photos instantaneously. But whether the pictures we all take and share with our phones will have any lasting impact is up for debate.

The New York City firefighters raising the flag at Ground Zero, the sailor kissing a nurse in Times Square on VJ Day in 1945, and John F. Kennedy Jr. saluting his father's coffin after the funeral mass are all iconic photographs that have helped cement history.

Dan Farrell took the photo of JFK Jr. for the Daily News on November 25, 1963. Back then he was part of a select press corps granted access.

The scene was a far cry from today's era of citizen journalism, where everyone has a camera in the palm of their hands and is ready to use it.

Case in point: Last Friday in San Francisco thousands came together to make a cancer-stricken kid feel like a real live superhero. As Batkid sprang into action, look at all of the people on the sidelines holding up their phones trying to get that ideal shot to blast out to their followers.

"There's a lot of photos out there and there are a few that are going to rise, either they were the first the best or they were the best that the most influential person tweeted or mentioned," said Sean Captain, who writes about tech trends for Tom's Guide. He argues what makes a photo iconic in the age of social media is not the craft that goes into it but the response that results from it.

Take the photo of the Miracle on the Hudson that was snapped on a cell phone by someone on a ferry and went global on Twitter within hours.

But whether an image like that will have the same staying power remains to be seen.

"Because our news cycle is moving so much quicker and our attention span is probably smaller, those photos may not be the photos that last as long as say photos from JFK's funeral," he said.

Of course a lot of different factors go into whether a photo reaches iconic status and holds onto that status. Certainly the gravity of the situation plays into that equation and the assassination of a U.S. president obviously trumps many other stories that dominate the headlines for days at a time.

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