iPhoneography

I’ve been actively making pictures since my dad let me use his Kodak Brownie Hawkeye back in the day. I immediately began to push the limits of what this camera could do. Sports photography was one of my early interests and this camera was particularly ill suited to that kind of photography. Kodak designed this primarily to make pictures of the family or other still life, not for action. Still, I kept at it, essentially trying to use a tool for something other than what it was intended for. A few years later I bought my first 35mm camera, a Practika L. Now I had something that I could grow with and wouldn’t limit me in my creative pursuits. More to the point, it made WAY better pictures than the Kodak.

Now I really don’t consider myself any sort of expert in photography. I often need to remind myself that it’s just a hobby and it’s probably a dumb idea to drop three grand on a Nikon D800. I do however enjoy making pictures that are clear, sharp, have good colour and generally as high an image quality as I can get. For this reason I avoid using my phone as a camera whenever possible.

Yes, I’ve heard all the preaching about the best camera is the one you have with you. Yes I know that cameras in some phones are rivalling the quality of low end point and shoots. Yes I’m aware the iPhone4 is the most popular camera on Flickr. Here’s the thing, I’m still not buying this “convergence of devices” idea quite yet. Phones may be great for snapshots, much like my Kodak Brownie was. For anything more robust I’ll use my Canon S90. It’s almost as pocketable as a phone and I pretty much carry it with me all the time.

The big plus? It shoots RAW. This gives me the option of doing all sorts of things in post using Aperture. It’s the difference between developing my own film and printing in the darkroom vs. sending film out to be developed. It’s just something I really like doing.

Now I’m not saying that I’m never going to use my phone to make a picture, it’s just not my camera of choice. I also recognize that some very talented individuals can make some excellent photographs with their phones. I’m just choosing to use a different tool.

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