Wim Wenders, the renowned German filmmaker — director of Paris, Texas — and photographer recently told the BBC that photography “is more dead than ever” and that smartphones are to blame for the demise of photography as art.

“The trouble with iPhone pictures is nobody sees them,” said Wenders. “Even the people who take them don’t look at them anymore, and they certainly don’t make prints.” Wenders also hit out at the use of filters, image manipulation and many other things associated with smartphone photography.

But he did offer a challenge — to name “a new activity that looks so much like photography but isn’t photography anymore. Please let me know if you have a word for it.”

A word that may spring to mind for some is ‘Unsplash’, a “website dedicated to sharing copyright-free photography” and home to thousands of beautiful, royalty-free photographs. Many of which are taken with smartphones.

Originally the local pack appeared down below the organic listings and showed 7 businesses:

The quality of the images? Superb.

The thought, time and effort which has gone into the creation of many of these photos? Impressive, to say the least.

And the possibilities from a digital marketing perspective? Limitless.

Yes, Wenders has a point on some fronts, especially that not enough people are turning those beautiful, high-definition images they’ve captured on their smartphones into prints.

But is it an “activity that looks so much like photography but isn’t photography anymore”, something masquerading as photography but distinctly different? Many would disagree.

One of the most remarkable things about smartphone camera technology is that it enables us all to capture the inherent beauty of our immediate surroundings as we see it. Without having to leverage the technical skills that Wenders and other world-renowned photographers possess.

In 2011, I visited a Wim Wenders exhibition at Haunch of Venison, a contemporary art gallery in Mayfair, London. An immense gallery with expansive spaces throughout, it was the natural setting for Wenders’ sparse, thoughtful photos that perfectly captured the environments he encountered on his travels, especially the American Midwest.

Having spent time sourcing images on Unsplash and recently reading Wenders’ comments on smartphone technology, I recalled that visit and thought just how at home many of the images I see on Unsplash would be on those walls. Printed and displayed, as Wenders intended with his own photos.

Below are some of Wenders’ many striking photos interspersed with images from Unsplash. A word for an “activity that looks so much like photography but isn’t photography anymore?” — beautiful.

Image Credits — Wim Wenders, Kilarov Zaneit, Wim Wenders, Cabaye, Wim Wenders, Keith Lee, Wim Wenders

Bambrick Media is a direct response digital marketing agency in Brisbane. We provide the full spectrum of digital marketing services, including SEOGoogle AdsSocial Media Marketing, Website Design and CRO. We highly recommend Unsplash as a source of high-quality, royalty-free images.