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Wednesday, 14 June 2017


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The success of camera phones is driven to some extent by image quality and to a larger extent by what we can do with pictures once taken. Where would social media be without pictures and videos? Where would cell phone cameras be without social media?

Remember when family get-togethers included photo albums, slide shows and shuffling through envelopes of prints? Today my family sits in front of a very large 4k TV (is that even the right term anymore? TV?) and looks at pictures and videos stored in something called The Cloud.

The future of hardware for serious photographers (amateur and pro) will be determined not by image quality but by what we can easily do with the images once captured.

Well... there are those highlights in the white wooly thing. #blown

Personally I'm not going to lose much sleep with the scary camera future. I just suppose I am lucky my deepest love is with images and I couldn't care less if it was shot with a mobile or an 8x10 view camera. If I could afford it I would shoot always BW film, but I can't so I use whatever I can and I get over it.
Funny, it seems my type have always been in the minority, while the crowd is obsessed with gear worries. Just count how many commentators posted a message on the recent Eugene Smith and Stanley Greene essay compared to the other day Scary Future post.

Yes, the iPhone and other smart phones are quite capable these days. You can do very reasonable prints from their files. These two I made with the iPhone 6s



The mobile phone shots in the Red Bull photo contest from last year are rather impressive images, among a host of others -

Raw DNG capture in Lightroom Mobile with my iPhone 6s is a whole new world, after the iOS Camera app. I still use the built-in app for sweep panoramas, though.

At first I didn't think much of cameras but that is no longer the case.

If you take them for what they are and work around their limitations, cameras are actually rather nice devices.

(Friend of Mike. Bismarck High School, class of 1967. Reunion in August. Will skip this one too.)

Barnack units continue rusting.

Look, long lenses and everything..


One day in class we lit an old Kodak. Dynamic tonality between a black bellows, buffed metal, and leather. We moved continuous lights and fill cards around til we were happy. 5 shooters were working this with dslrs. When they were done I pulled out my iPhone, framed and snapped. Looked perfect.

Everyone was a bit abashed but I encouraged them that all of our work brought ratios to where any camera would get a good image. We crafted the light and made it work; that's just basic photography. What happened is that they shifted from simply adapting by camera adjustments to shaping light. It took a while for that to sink n.

Might be more correct to say that Ben Lowy's 2012 Time magazine cover shot of hurricane Sandy hitting Coney Island was a Hipstamatic picture. But it was shot with an iPhone.


I see that a major fashion magazine, Elle, has recently used an iPhone 7 Plus for the cover image of its Australian edition.

Personally, I've been using my iPhone for photography for a couple of years. (There are plenty of examples on my site.) In fact, I've just spent the past week using my 7P almost exclusively in San Francisco and in the LA / Beverly Hills area. The more I use it the more I'm impressed by it.

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