Photo Stream's Hidden Benefit

Apple recently introduced Photo Stream in iOS 5. It’s function is to store, in the cloud, the last 1000 pictures taken with an iPhone (currently the most popular camera on Flickr), sharing them almost instantaneously with all your devices. The problem was, it stored every photo, whether you liked it or deleted it. If you took 5 photos of a scene and only 1 was a keeper, all 5 remained in your stream no matter what you did to the originals.

Upon first glance, this feature seems contrary to the lesser photography philosophy of ruthlessly editing your photos before anyone else can see them. Indeed, photographers complain about this feature nonstop. But, what some photographers call a bug is a welcome feature for one segment of photography: the citizen journalist.

In the past, it was a hassle to take a picture, upload it to the cloud and make it untouchable to any authority who may confiscate the device and attempt to erase evidence (yes, this happens even in the “free” world). Apple has succeeded in incorporating all this seamlessly into to it’s stock camera app. I can’t wait to see what Apple and the fanboys come up with to further exploit this feature.