So what's the point of walking around taking images on a picture taking device that is OK but only usable in good light and pretty much the worst camera I currently have? Well a clue can be found in one of the links I posted yesterday. http://blog.eyeem.com/2013/02/qa-with-ben-lowy/
'As for shooting in conflict zones – As I grew more and more comfortable using the phone, I realized it had certain advantages – it was anonymous, it wasn’t particularly heavy, it didn’t get in the way of being intimate with a potential subject. And it was fast, I could just pull the phone out of my pocket and take a picture as things were happening in front of me.
More than that, it produced images in a visual style that people weren’t used to seeing. That is important to me. There is so much information out there these days, and its very hard to capture the attention of a – for the most part – apathetic public. By showing important images of a war or social issue to people using a unique aesthetic, I believe I can capture their attention and shine a light on some of these stories.'
OK. I'm no war zone photographer. But anonymity is useful to me. As is the ability to walk long distances carrying only what I would carry with me normally. Any impression that I'm a 'photographer' either professional or a hobbyist just disappears with the phone. I like the extraordinary depth of field, I like the simplicity, I like the spontaneous almost 'throwaway' feel of the whole thing. I like the size and weight, I like the square format of the Blackberry sensor and yes I like the slightly grainy look of the images. I've also been surprised by just how 'photographic' the images are. The above shots are pretty close to how the pictures come out of the camera.
And then there's this.
And to me that's the essence of the impact of smartphones on the photographic experience. Shake things up a bit, loosen attitudes up somewhat, persuade us to take a few more chances and try something a little different. I write often enough about how the photographic internet is full of rote repeated dogma, cliche and closed mind thinking and is full of people trying to put other people into neat little boxes and criticise them for daring to refuse to be constrained by this catergorisation. Now I'm no avant-garde photographic maverick, far from it, but I do like to challenge myself, approach things from a different angle and of course take a 180 degree turn and go in the opposite direction whenever I feel like it.
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