New book aims to preserve the best of Instagram mobile photos

TORONTO - Cellphone cameras are used for more than just selfies, and a new book hopes to shine a light on the best of 2014's mobile photography.

"The Mobile Photo Book," published by French publishing house Out of the Phone, features 100 images captured from around the world and posted to the social media site Instagram over the past 12 months.

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Out of the Phone founder Pierre Le Govic says the book is an effort to capture the qualities of individuality and community that set mobile photography apart from its more traditional counterparts.

He says mobile technology allows photographers to take and process a uniquely conceived picture on the go and share it with a global group of like-minded people within moments.

The images in the book were taken by both professional and amateur photographers in 25 different countries.

One of the featured pictures was taken by Graeme Roy, Director of News Photography at The Canadian Press.

The image, dubbed "The Dividing Line," depicts both monochrome and coloured images of urban life divided by the trunk of a tree.

Roy described the picture as an abstract depiction of life in a sometimes polarizing urban landscape.

"It sort of shows people lost in the elements of downtown, between the light and dark and between colour and monochrome," he said in an email.

Le Govic praised the composition and tones of the photo, saying it encapsulates one of the qualities he most enjoys in photography of any era.

"When I'm looking at images, I am always looking for some kind of mystery, and I found that in that image," Le Govic said in a telephone interview from Marseille, France. "You feel that something will happen, but you don't know why and you don't know what."

Le Govic said the appeal of traditional photography is compounded by modern technology, which he believes has freed people to explore the field without the hassle of cumbersome cameras or other unwieldy equipment.

"Today we have the dark room in the palm of our hand," he said. "You don't need to wait to be in front of your computer, to open your Photoshop. In 10 minutes you can build some special stories."

The ability to share those stories on social networks and make the experience interactive further deepens the mobile photography experience, he added.

Out of the Phone, which was founded in 2013, is a publishing house devoted exclusively to preserving mobile photography by using the more traditional medium of paper and ink.

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