2015: The year photography moved (and moved us)

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More than a trillion photos were captured in 2015.
More than a trillion photos were captured in 2015.
Photo: HypeBeast

We were too busy taking our own pictures in 2015 to notice that something about photography had changed.

This was the year the photo moved. It shed its flat, two-dimensional constraints and showed a life once left to the imagination.

The movement could be slight, as in Apple’s Live Photos, a new feature on the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus camera that records a snippet of video before and after the frozen moment to add an extra dimension.

iPhone is most popular camera among Flickr’s 112 million photographers

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Flickr photographers love the camera on the iPhone.
Flickr photographers love the camera on the iPhone.
Photo: Flickr

The longtime Kings of the Camera must know their kingdoms are shrinking. If Canon or Nikon need further evidence, Flickr’s 2015 Year in Review shows the popular tool of choice for an engaged and global photography community is not a dedicated camera. It’s first and foremost a phone.

Apple’s iPhone was the popular device used by the Flickr community, according to an analysis of the EXIF data on pictures uploaded to the site. iPhone cameras accounted for 42 percent of the photos on the site, compared to the DSLRs of Canon, 27 percent, and the Nikon, 16 percent.

Flickr’s lame auto-tagging feature infuriates users

Auschwitz
Above: A jungle gym, according to Flickr's highly questionable tagging robots.
Photo: History.com

Photo-hosting site Flickr is taking some heat today over some unfortunate tags automatically showing up on users’ pictures. Specifically, the auto-tagging program has described people (of various races) as “animals” and identified concentration camps as “jungle gyms” and “sport.”

The auto-tag system remains in place, but some users want it gone.

We’re all suckers for filtered photos

Get more interest in your photos with filters.
Get more interest in your photos with filters.
Photo: Wikipedia Commons

The researchers at Yahoo labs have just quantified the use of filters on digital photos. Say what you want about the death of the art of photography – filters will get your photos noticed.

“We find two groups of serious and casual photographers among filter users,” write the researchers at Yahoo Labs. “The serious see filters as correction tools and prefer milder effects. Casual photographers, by contrast, use filters to significantly transform their photos with bolder effects.”

The best filters for engagement, however, tended to be the ones that increase warmth, exposure, and contrast, rather than the cooler, more obscuring ones.

This is big news if you’re looking to get popular on sites like Flickr and Instagram.

How to nuke pesky location data from your iPhone photos

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"You were in Vegas without me!?" Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

These days, any photo you shoot with your iPhone or other smartphone will typically contain location data (unless you have that feature turned off) to allow apps like iPhoto to place your images on a map.

Even photo-sharing services use this data, with some — like Flickr — posting it prominently on your photo pages (along with all the other EXIF data, like shutter speed and f-stop).

If you don’t want the location of your photos to be known, the Yosemite version of OS X’s Preview can take care of it for you. Let’s strip that location data before we post that photo to the Web, OK?