As I look around the web I see so many photographers, including serious, well-respected professional photographers, getting all excited about photography with their iPhones. What’s going on?
Well, in the spirit of scientific investigation I have downloaded a bunch of photography apps for my iPhone and will start shooting with them and see for myself.
What I think is going on is a combination of nostalgia for a simpler time in photography, a reappraisal of just how “perfect” an image needs to be effective and a wish to reconnect with personal photography in what are often busy professional shooting lives.
Nostalgia in photography with a widespread thing. We see that in the passion for old photographic processes whose look can frankly be recreated far more easily and often in a more environmentally friendly way by using a good inkjet printer and Photoshop. We’ve seen the popularity of plastic cameras, cheap plastic lenses, grungy photo filters and so on. Even the resurgence of interest in film fits into this.
We have all been spoiled by the perfection of the images we get from our cameras. Modern autofocus and auto-exposure systems are accurate and amazingly good at giving a workable image in one shot. We usually have resolution to spare and our images can be amazingly noise free. The problem with this is that we have removed much of what makes an image look real and not some plastic fabrication, and we have removed many opportunities for the “happy accident” that suddenly lifts an image to a new level.
With busy professional lives it is very easy to lose interest in our own photography and push it to the side. Also our modern gear may be heavy. A phone we have with us all the time, even when we whip down to the supermarket for some forgotten necessities. So if we start to engage with this device as a photographic tool for more than just documenting the kids we can have a more immediate, dare we say fun, relationship with our photography again. Sounds good doesn’t it?
So I am going to embark of an iPhone photography journey and see where it takes me. Stay tuned.