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The Best Camera…

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…is the one you have with you. – Chase Jarvis

And if I am honest, I couldn’t agree more. You see, me and my Canon 50D have a sort of love/hate relationship. I absolutely love it, I love the control, the versatility, the control layout, the frame rate and the accuracy. But, I hate carrying it around, it is heavy, it is big and I am little worried about bashing it into things or forgetting it.

So this is why Chase’s quote is so apt, I do have a camera on me at all times! It just so happens to be on my iPhone. And I never leave the house without my phone. It might not be the most technical camera in the world but at least it is there and allows me to capture moments that would have been otherwise missed.

I like the fact that a slide of a finger and a press of a button I can capture an image in a pretty much brainless way. But what really blows my mind is that I can edit the photo on my phone the same way in which I would edit a photo on my computer and I can share it instantly! I think that is pretty cool. That also makes using your phone as a camera, a pretty viable method of visual communication.

What I also like about taking photos on my phone is that the playing field is pretty much even. NO camera in a phone is really any good. They are awful. But everyone has one so that sort of makes things even and makes it accepted that these photos are going to be less than perfect. There is no gear wars, no pixel peeping, no Canon vs. Nikon debate, no Zoom vs. Prime. It is therefore down to the users creativity to make what they have work for them. And I think that is a good thing.

I would say that this is photography in it’s purist form but I think that is going a bit far. It does make it a lot more accessible. I also think it is more likely to make people take more photos, be it for sharing or personal documentation. There are of course a number of apps which can help you along your way. I use a fair few of them but the main ones I use are; Filterstorm; VSCOcam; SlowShutter; PhotoSynth and of course as many people do, I use instagram to share my photos.

But as we all know, you can only polish a turd so much, it helps if you take a decent photo to begin with (FYI I am not suggesting that I CAN take a decent photograph, I am just saying). Using your phone allows you slip back into the crowd. Try taking a photo of a stranger at close range with a massive DSLR, I reckon they will notice. With an iPhone, no one will notice you because everyone has a phone. I love this cloak of invisibility you can have whilst taking photos. What I am saying is, with a much less imposing camera, you are capable of getting the shots that you may not have got in the first place.

It does help if you also have some ounce of subtlety though. I mean don’t try the above shot with your arm out stretched and the loud shutter noise on your camera. In fact make sure your phone is on silent, you don’t want to give yourself away now do you. Lets face it, if you get caught on the tube, your options of running are severely limited. SO yeah, be subtle.

And because you can instantly see the results on screen rather than having to look through a view finder you can get the shot you really want. If not, take it again, or again. You’re not shooting RAW, memory space isn’t a concern. So snap away. Got it wrong? Oh well, you’ll get it next time.

And because your phone is always on you, you can take those shots on spur of the moment rather than being like “DAMN – if only I had my camera on me” or something like that. I don’t know what you’d say.

SO basically you can shoot anytime you see something you like, or something you think others will like.

You may or may not be aware that there are some pretty slick little apps on your phone for taking panoramic shots. Photosynth is available for both iPhone and Android and is the best app I have found so far for creating panorams. I can 100% recommend it!

Now you may have figured it out by now but all these photos were taken by me, on my iPhone. They aren’t technically impressive or perfect in anyway, I am sure if you looked closely at them, you could point out a handful of flaws. But I think they serve a purpose and if you took one that you really like, go back and take it on your proper camera!

Also you should totally share your photos on instagram and if you do then add me up @shootingdave !!!

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Automotive CGI Artist and Photographer

2 Comments Join the Conversation

  1. I don’t know how I came across this article, but I’m glad I did. Those photographs are beautiful, Dave. And all this brings Ansel Adams to mind: “A photograph is usually looked at – seldom looked into.” Ever since I started making photographs with my iPhone, I’ve given up on pixel peeping, gear wars and dSLR superiority and I’m that much happier.

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