Monday, March 14, 2011

Reconsidering Your Cell Phone's Camera

One of the things that bothers me the most about the photography business is this constant chatter about which particular camera we all use. When I'm out on a job, I can always spot the ones that will ask. You know who they are. They're the ones lingering around, twisting their head back and forth, trying to see the brand of camera you're using. If they can't tell, they'll ask. If they can tell, they'll immediately launch into their own opinions about your choice or explain why they've either chosen the same brand or gone with the other. Yes, I realize there are more brands of cameras out there than the big two, but to everyone who has ever wanted to engage me in this conversation, there are only two. I'm not trying to alienate anyone who uses brand x or y, and if this is you, this conversation probably irritates you for a whole different reason. I've had this exhausting conversation with both consumers and pros. My humble opinion is that it doesn't matter. When someone asks me for a recommendation for which to buy, I simply say go with your budget, then pick the one that feels better in your hands or has a specific feature that you really like. Beyond that, just read the manual and learn how to use every part of it.

I'm sure that most of you have heard the phrase "The best camera is the one that's with you." Most of you have cameras on your cell phones, and if you do, you probably already use it regularly. But do you consider it a tool to create images that are just as beautiful as your "big" camera? When using your cell phone's camera, you can still control two very important things to make a beautiful image: lighting and composition. There are many professional photographers now who are creating whole portfolios of work from their cell phone. Two you should check out are Jeremy Cowart and Chase Jarvis.

I'll leave you with one image I recently created with my cell phone's camera, which is 5 megapixels...more than my first digital point and shoot camera! You may recognize this owl from my Polaroid post.

(Processed with Old Photo Pro)
Do you know of other photographers purposefully using their cell phones to create new bodies of work? Leave a comment with a link to their gallery. I'd love to check it out!

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