Cell Phone Photography
I am a pretty old guy and started imaging a very long time ago (but in the same galaxy). For a long time I was obsessed with the quality of my image, namely because Ansel Adams produced such fine images, both in content and technical quality. Working the darkroom and making great prints was a very hard thing to do. I also shot a lot of slides and always was concerned about the zone system to get properly exposed slides.
Then came digital and with the first Epson pigment printers, my prints looked like I wanted them. After my first DSLR technical concerns became less and I focused on obtaining “fine glass”. A funny thing happened when I went to M43 format – the kit and small primes were very good, and them the “PRO” glass came and while better, they were not light years better.
During that time came the rise of the cell phones as point and shoot alternative imaging devices. At first I must admit that I thought they were ok for personal history images but not for fine art. Recently I had to replace both my wife and my phones. Then I shot some images on a trip where I had a camera but I left it home to enjoy the experience in real time with the folks I was with.
I shot some images with the phone and during some down time I used the android version of Lightroom and photoshop to work with some images. I think I can say this (BTW I bought refurbished phone and both phones combined cost less than $600, so you can pickup a really good cell phone camera refurbished now days for about $300 or less).
Here are the Images:
I believe I could print these 11 x 14 or 16 x 20 and be very happy with the resulting prints. Here is what this means for photography: today it is possible for folks to acquire a imaging device that can produce fine art prints and stock images good enough to sell. Many folks who instruct photography like to see folks start out with a single, none zoom lens. I have always liked semi-wide normal lenses, and most cell phone have an equivalent 35mm field of view to around 28 or 30mm.
There are many free programs to process images on a cell phone. So with a device most of us use for communication if you have the desire you can become a fine art or photo journalistic photographer. There will always be folks who question new things in photographer – just read a photographic history book to see the various conflicts over time in photography.
The most important part of photography is a photographer’s point of view and his/her ability to capture an image the stirs the emotions through that point of view. Cell phones camera’s in my opinion are now a viable photographic tool which can be used to produce fine art images.