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2014/12/29

Mobile Photography (aka - Phonography)

A year ago I was not of the opinion that images from phones were very good.  Certainly they used to be pretty worthless, with their low ISO, low resolution and lack of shutter speed controls.  I remember playing with my Motorola Razr and wondering why they even bothered with the camera function.  Then my old phone stopped working and though I resisted it I finally caved and got a "smart"phone.  I got a deal on an iPhone 4s ($0.99) and as a bit of a tech guy I eventually started trying to work with the phone's camera.

There are still a lot of limitations.  No way to really zoom, no way to use a flash (the built in flash is pretty worthless) and too much of a delay to even consider trying to shoot sports and action.  And the lens is a bit too long for the type of shooting I like to do (12-24mm zoom is my main lens for general shooting). 

But...

There are a lot of good images that can be made with the phone cameras, as long as you understand its strengths and weaknesses.

Photographers like Scott Strazzante are doing some great work as street photographers with their phones.  Go to Instagram and search for #iphoneography and  #mobilephotography  and there are an incredible number of images to view.

There are workshops and tutorials to make you better with your camera phone.  An there are sites dedicated to promoting the results.  One I have been looking at is the iPhonePhotographySchool site.  IT is a site to make you buy their course, but there are some things to see there for free.  They also have just posted a best of 2014 show.  Take a look at it and see what you think.  There are a variety if images, some quite good.  The one issue I have with a lot of the photos is the refusal of some of the photographers to have anything that is true black in the picture.  The washed out greys bother me, making me feel like I am looking at photo 101 students making prints for the first time in the darkroom, trying to understand the use of the different filters.

As for me, although I have not fully embraced the phone as a primary camera, I am not opposed to using it either.  Some of my images are even on Instagram now.  Stop by and take a peak.


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