If you think about photography usually the picture of a well equipped studio or equipment-loaden photographers who run around with or without model. I see myself in the second category. The bagpack is usually full with filters, adapters, lenses, flash guns and remotes. And the Tripod. Now and then another tripod with an umbrella. Just in case, you never know.
If I look back at what I’ve actually used then you can cut down this list quite a bit. Even if I’m out without tripod and flash equipment I can think of at least one or two things which can be left at home.
The urge to have everything with you all the time results from the experience I (and surely many other photographers) had. At least onece you got upset because you left exactly that thing at home which you would have needed. So better bring everything.
On Twitter I saw that there’s an iPhotography workshop which focuses on photographing with the the mobile phone. Lector was a href=”http://brendanose.com/”>Brendan Ó Sé (his blog post for the workshop) who’s photo was selected for the Apple World Gallery. Until now I was always a bit sceptical when it comes to taking photos with the mobile phone. I’ve always been sceptical when it comes to taking photos with your phone. But I’m always happy to try new things and so I signed up together with Ofer. The main topic was the usage of apps and general tips specific to the iPhone.
The possibilities apps like Pixlr or Snapseed offer are diverse and don’t differ much from the edits I would do on the computer. You have the complete workflow on your iPhone and there’s no need to import the pictures. If you’re on the go and don’t have a laptop with you this is clearly a plus. One problem using the phone for photography is zooming. To get usable photos it’s the best not to use the digital zoom. This is the biggest drawback for me at the moment. With the improving quality of the cameras in mobile phones you can get great results if it’s not too dark. The flash usually reaches for 1-2m and there’s a general bad performance in low light situations, a problem you don’t really get with “real” cameras. The noise is just too much.
Here are a few of my pictures from the workshop:
My conclusion: I’ll definately will use the iPhone more and experiment. When I was on the way and saw an opportunity for a photo I always thoguht: If I just had my camera with me. I didn’t even think about the phone. This will change, from now on I will use my iPhone for pictures more often.
Ofer’s thoughts on the workshop:
The reaction of many people to a mobile phone photography class can generally be divided into two camps: the first and likely more vocal one would be those for whom the mobile phone is technically a camera but strictly for the purpose of “non-serious” photography. The second would be for those curious and willing to learn how to get more out of your iPhone. Martin and I fall into the second camp and we took a flyer on local photographer Brendan Ó Sé’s iPhone photography masterclass at UCC. For those scoffing at the utility of a workshop dedicated to iPhone photography, taking pictures may very well be a serious hobby, requiring professional equipment, planning shoots and all the rest of it. But iPhone photography and in particular street photography which is what Brendan shoots mostly is the antithesis of “serious” photography.
The age-old adage of “the best camera is the one that’s with you” rings true. Take a look online and anywhere you turn you can see tons of photos and videos taken by people at the right moment and the right time. After all, you can’t shoot that awesome dish you just ordered if you left your DSLR at home. And if you’re with the missus, I hope for you that you left it at home! But the iPhone is more than just a camera that’s on you (and a good one at that!). It can be your whole workflow – your camera, darkroom and editing tool and platform for sharing your snaps. Brendan’s workshop focused on the first two elements of this workflow.
Firstly we were given a small taste of the types of photos Brendan shoots and has become famous for. After a quick demo of some of the editing capabilities of some well-known photography apps, in particular the free Snapseed, we ventured outside for a stroll through the spectacularly picturesque UCC campus for our own shots. Lastly, we huddled back in the classroom and edited some of our photos as Brendan gave us all tips.
Overall, I found the workshop very enjoyable, educational and also inspiring. I think too many of us have this preconception that serious photography can only be done with serious equipment. But then again, most of us aren’t trying to shoot the world with DSLRs all the time but simply share with our friends and family what we see, do and experience in our everyday lives. Brendan’s workshop demonstrated that really great results can be achieved with just a few ingredients most of us have: a decent mobile phone camera, some cheap or free apps, and a bit of time to play around and learn. So don’t be afraid to just get out there, take some snaps, edit them and show the world. After all, everybody else is doing it!
Here are a few of my shots: