Smartphone photography - worth a look!

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Attonine, Mar 31, 2015.

  1. Attonine macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2006
    Location:
    Kent. UK
    #1
    It's been some weeks since there's been a thread inviting heated debate over the merits, or not, of cell phone photography, so I thought I'd post this link from the Cell Phone category of the Sony World Photography Awards.

    There's some terrific stuff here, well worth a look whatever your opinions are regarding Cell Phone photography.



    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/...rds_n_6976552.html?ncid=fcbklnkushpmg00000063
     
  2. VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #3
    Awesome! While we all know it, this is a great reminder that you don't need 25+Mpx, f/1.4, 25,600 ISO, 12 stops of dynamic range, or multiple strobes to take good photos... You just need to get out in the world and have a good eye, and your phone!
     
  3. FieldingMellish Suspended

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2010
    #4
    A good eye, assisted by ideal lighting conditions. The phone is beside the point.
     
  4. MCAsan macrumors 601

    MCAsan

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2012
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #5
    Think what they could have achieved with a camera that has a choice of lenses and delivers raw files.
     
  5. themumu macrumors 6502a

    themumu

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2011
    Location:
    Sunnyvale
    #6
    I must admit, the #1 photo is a very questionable choice. Neither the composition, nor the subject matter, nor light are particularly impressive. Some of the shots do excel, but I think they'd have a much stronger set if they narrowed it down to 10 instead of 20.

    Actually, that's not necessarily the case. In case of that #1, for example, the photographer was probably just chilling on the beach and just casually snapped a shot on his phone. People do this so often, it barely attracts attention any more. If he were taking that photo with a pro level camera, he'd get major creep points and maybe not take the shot at all.
     
  6. DevNull0 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2015
    #7
    Well now that's just so brilliant.

    Why don't you go play with your iPhone in ideal lighting conditions and I'll take pictures the other 99.9999% of the time when the light is not ideal or you want your subject arranged a bit different than your ideal light demands.
     
  7. robgendreau macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    #8
    You do realize that most of the shots were street photos, where it is perhaps difficult to arrange your subject, if at all.

    Why so defensive?
     
  8. DevNull0 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2015
    #9
    I only got through about 5 of the shots in the linked article. Most of the "look what I shot with my iPhone" threads here have far better pictures than those samples. That article could have been a reason why to remove cameras from cell phones it was so bad.

    But as for my earlier post. You're still saying the iPhone is great for street photography where the lighting is perfect. What about the other 99.9999% of pictures people want to take?

    You think a lot of people buy iPhones for street photography? Or to shoot pictures of their friends at a restaurant, their children, parties, concerts, etc. Basically shoot their own life Street photography is such a tiny little sub-culture fringe, it doesn't even deserve a mention in a discussion about what you can do with an iPhone targeted at the mainstream market.

    And the iPhone sucks for street photography because you have to make due with the light you have when you see a good composition.
     
  9. Indydenny macrumors 6502

    Indydenny

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2002
    Location:
    Midwest
    #10
    Nice

    Very nice. Thanks for sharing. Although I don't understand how the first one was awarded first place in anything! :)
     
  10. FieldingMellish Suspended

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2010
    #11

    What is it that irks you about the fact that phone cameras do their best in ideal light, and that they disappoint in all other conditions?
     
  11. DevNull0 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2015
    #12
    Nothing.

    What is it that makes you think all anybody needs is a camera that can only take pictures under ideal conditions?
     
  12. acearchie macrumors 68040

    acearchie

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2006
    #13
    Which is traditionally what street photographers do?
     
  13. FieldingMellish Suspended

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2010
    #14
    You presume wrong. And I can't fathom how you've arrived at that conclusion.
     
  14. Zaqfalcon macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2010
    #15
    Although some of these compositions are nice, I would personally be dissapointed with the image quality of many of them, noisy, narrow tonal range, incorrect white balance (first place!), halo effects from needing to over manipulate, over sharpened, over saturated etc etc...
     
  15. VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #16

    I would suggest that the best photos are taken in ideal light, regardless of what camera is used.
     
  16. Attonine thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2006
    Location:
    Kent. UK
    #17
    What I see people talking about dynamic range, noise, sharpness etc, and technical qualities of photos, there is a quote which always springs to the front of my mind:

    "Don't shoot what it looks like. Shoot what it feels like." David Alan Harvey.

    I just wish more 'photographers' understood this.
     
  17. VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #18

    Awesome... And that's exactly what the first photo in the contest seems to capture for me.
     
  18. robgendreau macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    #19
    "Still saying"? This was my first post on this subject.

    I'm having a hard time understanding the argument. Although I think only people who identify as photographers or fans thereof would recognize the term, in fact that's a very very common use of the iPhone. And I think Instagram and Hipstamatic might dispute that it's a tiny little subculture.

    Not only that, it misses the whole point of a whole genre of photography, which includes not only street photography, but all of photo journalism. It's about the "moment" in many cases, not the lens, not the sensor, not the film, not the camera. I agree light is part of that, but light is fleeting, and catching it (that term is used for a reason) is more a matter of opportunity and planning than gear. Especially if your intention is to capture life.

    I'd recommend this: http://time.com/3590594/the-return-of-henri-cartier-bressons-decisive-moment/

    That photo could have been taken by an iPhone. Maybe not as easily or effectively as Cartier-Bresson's 50mm Leica (although using a compact like that was a bit against the grain back then), but it could've happened.

    It's still all about the eye, not the camera. But I do agree there are better examples than those Sony winners.
     
  19. DevNull0 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2015
    #20
    I suppose proper use of English is dying all over the place. From dictionary.com:

    Code:
    Still:
    13.
    even; in addition; yet (used to emphasize a comparative):
    still more complaints; still greater riches.
    I was referring back the the same post I replying to, I used "still" meaning in addition or yet. For emphasis that I was "still" talking about the quoted post, and it was grammatically correct use of the word "still." Nice try though.

    If you're talking about high-end photography where it's "about the eye, not the camera", most people with the eye will want tools that more easily capture what their eye sees.

    Why does a painter need $50 brushes when I can buy a set of ten for $10 at the dollar store? It's not about the brushes, it's about the skill of the artist. Why doesn't a formula 1 driver use a smart car at the race? It's about the skill of the person, but a huge part of that skill is knowing how to choose tools to best accomplish your goal.

    But all of that misses the entire point, the "average" person who uses an iPhone to take snapshots doesn't care about a photographic eye anyway. They just want to capture a moment. So why are you even talking about what a skilled artist can and can't do with an iPhone instead of tools he knows will do the job better? What does that have to do with this thread at all?

    ----------

    I would suggest you please not reply to my posts anymore. I know from past experience that you are a nothing more than a forum troll who likes to provoke a response and then cry to the moderators.

    I have nothing more to say to you and would appreciate it if you didn't say anything to me.

    ----------


    Oh, maybe this:

     
  20. Attonine, Apr 2, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2015

    Attonine thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2006
    Location:
    Kent. UK
    #21
    Unfortunately your grammar is not as good as you think. Your use of still is not as you described. Why? Because to use in the sense you think you used the adverb, you need a comparative, you did not use a comparative. The sense you used the adverb is to mean previously. This is an incorrect usage in this sentence because the poster had not said anything previously.

    To your second linguistic point aimed at FieldingMellish, you simply demonstrate poor comprehension. Nowhere did FieldingMellish indicate that he (she) thought "all anybody needs is a camera that can only take pictures under ideal conditions".


    Yes I do have an MA in Linguistics, and yes this is my day job!

    As for photography, what is "high end" photography? A National Geographic cover? A Magnum photographer? Do they count? When John Stanmeyer's shot, taken with an iPhone, was published on the cover of National Geographic, Stanmeyer put a post on Instagram saying something along the lines of "and let this be the end of the argument". I guess for some it's not.


    For further reading here are some of Stanmeyer's thoughts on iPhone and professional (high end?) photography.

    http://stanmeyer.com/blog/3032/instagram-its-about-communication/

    Then of course there's Michael Christopher Brown who was taken on by Magnum because of his conflict work shot on an iPhone, which is still, I believe, his camera of choice. There are many other photojournalists working with iPhones by choice too, and documentary photographers, and street photographers. This device lends itself very nicely for working in these genres.


    Then of course there's the fact that the photographers who enter the Sony Awards are not "average". They are more serious about the art. You seem to forget all of these average people that have DSLR's walking around taking disposable shots of their cats and family in front of landmarks.


    If you feel you cannot work with a cell phone, then don't. At least demonstrate you have some knowledge about the work people are doing in the various genres of the art.
     
  21. VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #22
    Who's trolling who? :confused:

    ----------

    Here are some other great collections of iPhone Photos in case anyone's interested...

    Shot on iPhone 6

    The 100 Best iPhone Photos Of 2014

    iPhone Flickr Photography Pool
     
  22. I7guy macrumors G5

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2013
    Location:
    What Exit?/Saguaro Country
    #23
    There is a lot of luck in getting a shot you want from a cell phone camera due to the nature of the beast, certainly much less luck from a dslr that has the ability to grab a capture and focus faster on anything moving much easier.

    I've missed a bunch of keepers on my iPhone due to the inherent limitations, photos my dslr would have captured with ease.

    But to your point a pinhole camera could be used for photojournalism although the keeper rate might be low.
     
  23. Attonine, Apr 3, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2015

    Attonine thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2006
    Location:
    Kent. UK
    #24
    Depends how you work. By nature, street, documentary, and photojournalism have a very low percentage of keepers, whatever camera is used. It's just the nature of the beast. I know a photojournalist, 40 covers of Newsweek magazine, covered every war since the early '80's etc, who is currently putting a book together about Cuba. He's reducing 70000 shots down to 140, shots from SLR, DSLR, film and digital Leica. Selection is as important as taking the shot.

    Look at videos of Gary Winograd or Joel Meyerowitz working. Different photographers work in different ways. You have some that take 1000's of shots and get very few keepers, others that take 10's of shots but each is a £1m photo.

    There are apps now that allow you to zone focus, this is faster than any DSLR can work, if you know how to work this way. Same with Leica M's, zone focusing, always has been, and will be, faster than a DSLR, if you can work that way.

    I don't like these comparisons about different cameras. DSLR can do this, another camera can do that. Everyone has preferred tools and preferred methods of working. Some people like studio work, some like wildlife, architecture, slow shutter release, street, some try to do everything. All different. Just use what you are comfortable with.

    This category of the Sony awards is unusual in that it specifies the equipment. No other category does this. We don't have a DSLR category, a zoom lens category, a Lomo category, film or digital categories. What interests me is the passion with which some people reject this equipment. Who cares about the equipment? Look at the results people are getting. There is some very, very good work being produced.
     
  24. I7guy macrumors G5

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2013
    Location:
    What Exit?/Saguaro Country
    #25
    A lot of photographers care about the equipment? Do you want to go into surgery knowing the surgeons tools are a rusty razor blade and a hacksaw? The tools are everything whether one discusses them or not. A phone camera from a technical perspective is the biggest compromise in the digital 2015 era. Not to say you can't get a good shot with one: or that surgeon with a rusty razor blade can't perform surgery.

    There is a reason most pros used high-end camera to capture the Olympics.
     

Share This Page