Wim Wenders: Phones Have Made Photography ‘More Dead Than Ever’

Renowned German photographer and filmmaker Wim Wenders thinks that photography “is more dead than ever” and that smartphones are to blame for the art form’s demise. In this 1.5-minute video produced by BBC News, Wenders stops at an exhibition of his Polaroid photos to share some of his thoughts on the current landscape of photography.

Wenders believes that part of the devaluation of photography comes from the fact that even though so many more photos are being captured every year, so many fewer photos are being treasured and enjoyed in the way they were before.

“The trouble with iPhone pictures is nobody sees them,” Wenders says. “Even the people who take them don’t look at them anymore, and they certainly don’t make prints.”

And even though phones are getting loaded with more and more features and filters, they may not be helping people become creative photographers.

“I know from experience that the less you have, the more creative you have to become,” the photographer notes.

Basically, Wenders doesn’t think very highly of the smartphone’s place in the world of “serious” photography, and he doesn’t even think that most picture-taking done on smartphones should even be called ‘photography’…

“I’m in search of a new word for this new activity that looks so much like photography but isn’t photography anymore,” Wenders concludes.