With the flood of iPhone photos across the web lately I have been thinking about why i rarely use my smartphone for photography.

Part of the issue is I like to print my photos, and most smartphones, iPhones included, are not optomized for print[1], but a bigger issue for me is that they have a fixed (wide angle) lens. In other words, you cannot change the magnification of the lens, which in tern means you cannot control the perspective of your shot. Using a semi wide angle lens will force you to be closer to your subject so you will get a slightly exagerated perspective. Some images work well with this exagerated perspective, but many do not (especially portraits…)

This brings me to the point of this post.  Some photographers (and artist in general) like working within a restricted proceedure. They will choose a certain type of camera or lens, for example, and then try to find images that fit the imaging properties of that system. This is the way most smartphone photographers work, they find images that work with their medium.

I work form the opposite end. I find a potential image, then choose the tools (lens, etc) that bext expresses what the image says. I am not saying one approach is better than the other, but I do find it frustrating when I see an image but the tools I have (smartphone or point and shoot camera, for instance) are not capable of capturing what I see.

I guess I am stuck carrying around my DSLR and a bunch of lenses….


Footnotes    (↵ returns to text)

  1. There are many reasons smartphone photos look better on a computer screen than printed. Among the technical issues are resolution and dynamic range. I have written about these topics before, but maybe it is time to revisit them.
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