It is estimated that 380 billion images were taken last year, most with a camera phone. A total of 300 million photos are uploaded on Facebook every month. Instagram is growing exponentially and had four billion photos uploaded as of July 2012.

Almost everyone has a camera and is a photographer.

Just as access to pens and paper hasn’t produced thousands of Shakespeares or Nabokovs, this explosion of camera phones doesn’t seem to have led to more Dorothea Langes or Henri Cartier-Bressons. But it has certainly led to many more images of what people ate at lunch…

…The question is not so much whether this is a good thing for society (or a bad thing for photographers). It is happening, a billion times a day, and there is no going back.

The question is: How does the photographic community harness this explosion of visual energy to expand its audience? This is what needs to be focused on.

— James Estrin, New York Times Lens Blog. In an Age of Likes, Commonplace Images Prevail.

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