It’s no surprise Apple’s iPhone is one of the most popular cell phones on the market. When I was due for a new cell phone last year, I religiously visited Fido almost every day hoping to get my hands on the iPhone 4. I was excited for the phone based on the promotions describing what it could offer but none of my expectations related to my love of photography. Finally, when I got my new phone I was surprised by the quality of the camera’s (yes, there are two!) on the phone. Seemingly, I wasn’t the only photographer who noticed the capabilities that the iPhone’s camera possessed as over the last year as the trend of Iphone photography has become more and more popular with professional photographers putting down their SLR cameras and picking up their phones. Photographers are now writing books describing basic composition techniques suited for the iPhone’s camera and photo’s taken from the phone are becoming more recognized by industry professionals over a regular SLR . What makes the newest photography trend so alluring is the size of the phone makes it easier to travel with and candid photography less intrusive, the applications available for iPhone that make using your phone for pictures more interesting, and camera manufacturers such as Nikon and Canon are making products that allow photographers to combine their lenses with their phone’s camera.
Many photographers can agree that candid photography is hard. Capturing that natural expression from a person takes skill and a certain amount of stealth. When a person sees a photographer pointing their camera at them they instantly feel on display and that natural element disappears. Some see the camera and instantly hide or flat out refuse to have their photo taken making it hard to capture those special moments that come with candid photography. SLR cameras are not as small and light weight as most point and shoot cameras are, and they are easy to spot from a distance making it hard for a photographer to go unnoticed by the public. Having something less abrasive and obvious like a cell phone allows a certain sense of anonymity while in the field compared to using a big camera and its a lot easier to carry around. A photographer could be in the streets shooting away using the iPhone while the public may simply think the photographer is texting or on Facebook.
In addition, the selection from Apple’s “app” store are amazing and make up the majority of allotted space on my phone. Some come free and are simple to use but the old saying runs true when, “You get what you pay for”, and there are others ranging from $1.99 to $5.99 that are always a gamble.But the applications that are tried and tested true work wonders. Some edit photo’s, others let you add filters changing the colours, and there are ones that simulate old retro cameras or photobooths. Instagram is an application I use most often, doubling both as an application that lets you add different filters to your photos as well as a social network where you can share your photos within Instagram’s network and other social networking sites and blogs allowing other instagram users to follow you, and comment on your photos. Other applications such as Hipstamatic and Retro Camera give your photo’s an aged look as if you were using an old type of camera such as an old pinhole camera or a Polaroid. All these applications let you use the phones camera in ways you wouldn’t be able to use your SLR, thus giving us photographers a chance to switch things up a bit and add a little flare to our photos.
Instead of trying to compete with the iPhone’s camera capabilities and applications, camera manufacturers have produced a way to work with the iPhone’s camera instead of against it. Manufacturers such as Nikon and Canon have produced lens mounts allowing you to attach your SLR lens right onto your phone. This mount allows photographers who are torn between the ease and creativity the iPhone’s camera and applications have with taking photos and using the professional lenses that come with the SLR. While the iPhone camera is great, it can’t do all the things a a 10.5mm fish eye lens can do. Now, photographers no longer have to chose. Designed similar to a cell phone case, the lens mount attaches your lens to the mount case that covers the phone with the lens opening sitting directly over the camera on the back.
Much like the introduction of digital cameras, many photographers are giving iPhone photography a chance in an effort to build on their experience and try something out of the ordinary. Because of the size of the iPhone, photographers are giving their arms a break while trying to brave the public in an effort to shoot a more natural looking photo and finding it a little less intrusive. Further more, the photos taken can instantly be manipulated and edited and sent out into the social networking sphere for critic and feedback from peers giving photographers a chance to try something new in the way of adding new filters and editing technics. And with the new mounts manufacturing companies are producing, it is much easier to attach your favourite lens to the phone mimicking the capabilities of a professional camera. With Apple continuously making their products such as the iPhone better every year, we can all agree that iPhone photography is here to stay.