The Newest International Photography Hall of Fame Inductee: Steve Jobs

The Newest International Photography Hall of Fame Inductee: Steve Jobs

The latest list of inductees to the 2016 class of the International Photography Hall of Fame reads like a who's who of top tier photographers and industry pioneers. Gracing the list are the likes of Annie Leibovitz, Sebastiao Salgado, Ken Burns, Tom and John Knoll, Ernst Haas, and Steve Jobs. Wait, what? Steve Jobs?

After my mind wrapped itself around the concept, it's kind of a no brainer. Photography has never been more ubiquitous than it is today, and arguably the most influential player in the game has been the iPhone. The iPhone brought photo-taking and sharing to a level previously unseen, creating enough fervor in the photography industry to spur the launch of photo-centric apps like Instagram and Snapchat. For better or worse, mobile photography, both selfie and not, has become a way of life. Children as young as two up to centenarians are getting in on the act, posting photos chronicling their day, applying their filters of choice, and sharing with the world.

Of course, some purists may believe that 99.999% of the photography that comes out of mobile platforms is garbage, and they may be right. But that is neither here nor there. Photography is a different beast than it was 10 years ago. Many more players have entered the game with arguably better cameras, better technology, and more innovation, but the iPhone was the first to get the formula right. Steve Jobs and Apple made mobile photography accessible in a way that changed the industry forever. Whether that change has been good or bad, I'll leave up to you.

Lead image by Matthew Yohe, used under Creative Commons.

[via MacRumors]

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8 Comments

Jonathan Reid's picture

Whilst I don't really care who is on this list, it seems Steve Jobs really doesn't belong. I could understand if he invented the camera phone, or if he created an app like Instagram, but his only contribution to photography was being CEO of Apple when the iPhone was released. Also, I haven't seen the list, but it seems like a list of photography masters. Was Steve Jons even a photographer?

Spy Black's picture

Obviously a bunch of Apple fanboys at International Photography Hall of Fame .

I agree. Camera phones pre-date the iPhone by quite a margin. There may even be a case where Nokia was a bigger player in getting cameras accepted on cell phones. Sure, Apple did it better, but it took them a couple of years to catch up to those early Nokias.

It is interesting that this would happen. It opens the doors for the CEO's of Canon, Nikon, Sony, Samsung, DJI, and all the rest.The iPhone is brilliant and all, but that doesn't make Jobs an influential photographer. How about the CEO's of Kodak and Fujifilm?

I think it could be argued tha Jobs was less influential to photography than. whoever runs DJI.

I forget that I have a camera clipped to my belt or in my pocket. But its primary purpose is for telephone calls.
I'd prefer to use one of my 35mm SLR/DSLR cameras.
That "hunt-n-seek" with smartphones and point-and-shoots" is a major problem. I'd prefer to use manual focus; it would be quicker.

Scott Free's picture

you all also forget that apple popularised the Personal computer, who knows if we'd be using photoshop from home to edit digital photos right now. Jobs was a pioneer and has made a mark on photography, whether you like it or not. Well deserved.

That is a bit of an overstatement. Apple historically hovers between 4-10% of the PC market. Even when Photoshop premiered, Apple's share was still just under 10%, with a large number in schools thanks to the brilliant Campbell's Soup Can Label program.

It may be that it heavily influenced you and your circle of friends. Sure didn't influence me.

Rusu Tudor's picture

This again? Complete bullS.

Yea yea whatever photoshop was first released for mac but after a few years of no pushing forward and all that they translated to windows and now we have medium powered machines that run PS like nothing else. The mac fandiots are finally waking up as well. Or at least most of my friends that were mac blinders.

Good comparison? My 2012 i5 laptop works better than the 27" inch iMac 2013 or 2014 machine that I have at work. And that thing has i7 chips in it ( and an extremely horrible glossy display ) :) It's just the way things are.

You're paying for looks guys.

"To be eligible, inductees must have made a notable contribution to the art or science of photography, having a significant impact on the photography industry and/or history of photography." — Steve Jobs definitely meets those requirements, having steered the direction of both the hardware and the software contained in the iPhone.

The iPhone has greatly impacted mobile photography. While earlier cell/mobile phones did have cameras, it was the combination of hardware and easy-to-use software which lead to Apple's early dominance in mobile photography, and which pushed the market forward. One also could argue that Adobe Lightroom wouldn't exist had Apple not released Aperture; people seem to forget that Lightroom was a direct response to Aperture.

Critics of his inclusion totally undervalue (and underestimate) the importance that a designer and critical thinker can have on the direction of any project. Look at the DSLR and Full-frame mirrorless markets, neither has a clear leader. Canon and Nikon both have the largest number of lenses, the Sony full-frame mirrorless system is the most adaptable, the Pentax K1 in-camera software is second only to the Hasselblad X1D. If you could combine the Hasse software with Sony's full-frame mirrorless bodies, and a lens inventory the size of Canon or Nikon (and throw in GPS and WiFi) — we might have a clear winner. This market is a classic example of an industry lacking any clear direction. Look at Canon's point-n-shot camera line up, that needs significant pruning. Everyone is a fan of the systems they use, but presently no one camera system is leading the pack in photography. - IMHO.