Another glorious day and I decided to use three smartphone cameras and nothing else. So I took out my Panasonic CM1, Apple iPod Touch and Samsung K Zoom. And in terms of what I came back with, I was pleased. It is after all, about the images and not the gear and it's those that make any photographic time a success or otherwise.
As ever I appreciate the point and shoot simplicity and the focus using these cameras with restricted options gives me. There's nothing innovative here, nothing 'artistic' and no decisive moments. Just a set of useful stock photographs.
The predominant reason I'm drawn into doing this more and more is that I feel 'liberated' after years of obsessing about whether I'm using the 'right' gear. The only thing that matters (and has ever mattered) is can I produce an image that firstly I'm pleased me and interests me visually and secondly something that someone might want to publish and pay me for the privilege. The essence of stock photography. It seems I can do this just as well using a smartphone as a larger sensored, more technically 'proficient' camera. Because the people who buy and use my images have far less hang ups about (supposed) technical quality than many 'fauxtographers' (incidentally I borrowed that excellent word from Ken Rockwell)
Later today I'll be heading home and this trip is the first where I will have taken the majority of my images on smartphone cameras. I had planned to use the Panasonic GX8 for the bulk of of my photography, but it hadn't turned out that way. And looking at the results I certainly don't regret the decision. In terms of what I do these images have to have a 'shelf life' of years and just like I never regretted (or suffered financially) from using low pixel count early digital cameras rather than film, I doubt that I will regret using smartphones instead of DSLR's or mirrorless / CSC / E.V.I.L cameras. In fact changing the way I work had 'freshened up' my photography and free from all that fiddling and lens changing it actually feels like I'm seeing things with fresh eyes. Chances are I'll produce the same kind of travel / location / landscape scenic spots I always have, but hopefully a few indications of the experimental approach will sneak through.
I suspect that in a few years time I won't be one of the minority doing this, but there is also an element of excitement created by being part of that minority I have to admit. I've never been daunted by going a different route to create the images I do and I see the exploration of different ways of creating and editing images as part and parcel of being a photographer.
But it is worth remembering that I'm a long way off being wealthy enough to not care about what doing this means to my income and the evidence from my sales statistics shows that far from this being a risk, ultimately it may lead to that income increasing. Because apart from moving on as a photographer, the buyers of photography are looking for something different too. Not radically different, but something where a few burnt out highlights and a few extra artefacts don't matter. Good photography is good photography, no matter what is used to create it and in time nobody will care what gear people used to create their images. And of course there are many buyers of images to whom the gear used is the least important part of photography. It's taken a while but I might just be joining them.