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Why Nobody Should Hate iPhone Photography

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Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 18 total)
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  • #2600
    Uranus
    Participant
    #45326
    Farktographer
    Participant

    From the article, “At the end of the day, the photograph is what should matter and how it was captured shouldn?t.” I agree with this – the problem I see (at least from my facebook friends’ postings using their camera phones) are that their pictures suck, but they try to make them ultra-trendy and hipster by using all sorts of filters and processing on their phone. “Hmmm…this picture of a chair is boring. I know, I’ll use a retro filter and then put a fake film frame on it so it looks cool!” I dislike those photos as much as any heavily-processed image out there using tons of photoshop.

    Even then, I can say that I like some images that are heavily shopped or have their iphone filters, but at that point I no longer consider it a “photo.” It’s art, sure, but it’s not a real photograph anymore.

    #45327
    ennuipoet
    Participant

    If you take a good photograph, I don’t CARE what you took it ON. Someone with the basic understanding of the principles of photography can repeatedly take a good photographs on any photographic medium. My problem with iphone photography is simple, it does not encourage ANY sort of composition. Pull it out of the pocket, turn it in the general direction and wave it until you see what you want to see. At least with a camera the very act of using it, of at least drawing a viewfinder to your eye FORCES you to make to some compositional choices. (Move forward, move back, step left, kneel) while the iphone just goes wherever your hand is pointing framing everything at chest level, two feet from your face and within the screen. (Much of this can be said of a contemporary P&S with their large LCD’s and tiny or non-existent viewfinders). Since it’s inception the medium has guided shooters to at least frame a shot within the device, in an inadvertent yet natural composition (which is why 95% of all snapshots are landscape, when people learn they can shift to a vertical portrait view and do so, they have taken the first step toward learning composition!) now every iphone shot is in a thin vertical portrait view because that is how people hold their phone. (REALLY annoying in video mode as all the action is happening off screen and you see a thin stripe of what the shooter was trying to capture!)

    Finally the advent of filtering software has created a class of Filter Zombies who use the same effects for every photo and then spew them onto the web in an endless litany of insipid, identical shots never once considering alternatives or individuality. Ironic how software made to highlight the individuality of your photos from the mainstream (ooooh, look, this picture of Biffy the Dog looks like it was taken with Lomolga! My Dad had a Lomolga when he was a kid! I should show EVERYONE this!) has resulted in millions of photos with the exact same settings, and the exact same lack of inspiration and composition.

    I don’t hate the medium, I hate the result, intended or not. Yes, this sort of thing has been going on for years. When I was a teenager, I took shots just like the InstaHipShitMaticIphonographs on my 35mm, but I learned early on that no one actually wanted to SEE them. Thanks to the iphone, I get to see EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM from hundreds of people as they spew across my FB news freed.

    I don’t hate iphone photography, I hate (some/most) the people USING it.

    #45328
    orionid
    Participant

    *grabs popcorn, takes seat*

    #45329
    chupathingie
    Participant

    I don’t hate it, I just think it’s a fad that’s going away before long. Hopefully way before long. I showed one of Orionid‘s frankenpictures to a friend (one of the wrong-size-film-in-a-different-camera-body shots) and his first assumption was Hipstamatic. 😕

    #45330
    Yugoboy
    Participant

    I don’t hate it, I just think it’s a fad that’s going away before long.

    The problem is that this part of your statement is not true.

    I agree with everything said above about photography in general, regardless of the tools.

    The advent of digital photography has made the simple act of taking the picture and getting the image out of the camera nearly free. The large screen size of the iPhone and its Droid/Android cousins has removed even the need to get the image out of the camera.

    This is a blessing to people like us who care about composition and quality. It’s a blessing to people like me who are cheap.

    The problem here isn’t even the people who take crappy photos of everything. Ever since I became aware of composition and the ability to take a good photo in-camera going on vacation to popular places has been an exercise in not yelling at people. My wife has to literally make me take her photo of her standing in front of stuff, and I’ll only use her camera for it. Even then, I do what I can to introduce the element of composition and quality (face away from the sun, move in close you don’t need the entire sign, etc.). People who ask me to take their picture at vacation locations are always pleasantly surprised by what shows up in their lcd screeen when I’m done. I never just take 1. One lady in Rome handed me her Nikon, and when I stuck my 55-200 on her body to take a better photo of her on the Spanish steps, she really appreciated it.

    Wow… this is getting long and windy.

    tl;dr version – Digital photography only exacerbates a problem that’s been around a long long time. The internet makes it easier to share the crap. Don’t blame the iPhone, blame the people. And it ain’t going away any time soon.

    #45331
    ennuipoet
    Participant

    I wonder if videographers and filmmakers hated camcorders like we hate iphones? I guess there was probably SOME hate, but the advent of camcorders was not spewed on the landscape like Instahipstashitomatica.

    Let me be honest, I care not about the iphone…I hate the farking Apps. A guy I work with downloaded Adobe Photoshop onto his Droid today and all I could think was “WTF are you going to Photoshop on a friggin’ phone?”

    #45332
    Yugoboy
    Participant

    I guess the biggest complaint we all have is with the rise of camera-phones and the technological increase quantity has no bearing on quality.

    I mean, I went to Italy for 13 days, took a Nikon and a tripod, took 5000 pix, and as yet have posted very very few from that trip. Including use in classroom and sharing with parents and stuff, I’ve shown maybe 100 or so of what I took. I try to keep my quality/quantity ratio balanced so that people think of me as the artiste I (pretentiously) want to be seen as.

    Of course, then I come here and every week find out just how wrong my delusion really is. 😉

    Still… gotta have pride in one’s work, y’know?

    #45333
    ennuipoet
    Participant

    I guess the biggest complaint we all have is with the rise of camera-phones and the technological increase quantity has no bearing on quality.

    I mean, I went to Italy for 13 days, took a Nikon and a tripod, took 5000 pix, and as yet have posted very very few from that trip. Including use in classroom and sharing with parents and stuff, I’ve shown maybe 100 or so of what I took. I try to keep my quality/quantity ratio balanced so that people think of me as the artiste I (pretentiously) want to be seen as.

    Of course, then I come here and every week find out just how wrong my delusion really is. 😉

    Still… gotta have pride in one’s work, y’know?

    Indeed, and learning what to keep and what to throw away is an integral part of improving. One of the problems with instant sharing of photo visa vie these apps is the discarding of the editing process! The photo moves from from finger to world without a moments pause and it shows in the results.

    When I started shooting again after my long hiatus I would shoot hundreds of shots, often shooting the same image over and over and then go home and pick four or five and post them. When I was shooting for Noir the other day, I shot fifteen exposures, and picked seven of them and will post one. I planned the shoot for two weeks prior, sketched what I wanted, the lighting design and then shot. (I still screwed it up mind you! But I screwed it up far less). In editing I was able to pick and fix what I wanted.

    Instant gratification almost always results in shiatty images. These apps remove thought, selectivity and correction from the process and spew the results over the landscape that a Frat Boy after a game of beer pong.

    #45334
    bender16v
    Participant

    I agree with pretty much everything said above. I have been luckily spared from viewing all of the crappy photos on fb, with the exception of a few women that post ridiculous self portraits from absurd angles. I have not witnessed any of the filter apps and had to look them up to see what everybody was talking about.

    Currently I have 3,142 photos on my iphone and must say that it replaced my point-and-shoot, but 99% of these are snapshots and not “photographs”. My phone is always with me due to being on call 24/7 which sucks, but if I see something worthy of a photo I can catch it quickly. That being said, I don’t think that I have a single photo on my phone that wouldn’t have been better with a real camera. Because of the convenience I don’t think that this is a fad and it is not going away. One point to consider is how much all of these photos on fb, g+, flickr, etc. are documenting modern life. Just think, in 100 years people will know exactly what Jimbo had for breakfast on February 19, 2012!

    #45335
    chupathingie
    Participant

    For me, a phone just doesn’t cut it for picture taking. Now, I don’t own an iphone/android (which is pretty ironic considering I get a discount for working for one of the larger telecoms), and I have to admit that the iphone’s resolution and optics are pretty impressive for a phone. But functionally it doesn’t even come close to a middle-of-the-road PNS’s zoom capabilities and rudimentary semi-manual settings. I’ve always got my PNS with me because A: Phone cams suck, and B: I can’t lug a DSLR around with me everywhere.

    A phonecamera is the Instamatic of the new age, and like the Instamatic was, phonecams are ubiquitous. They are the currency of most peoples’ vacation, birthday party and pub crawl memories. Most people are picture-takers, not photographers, so this is the same cycle we went through with film. I hate to admit it, but Yugo is right, it’s not going away. But it will always be different, and it will always separate the picture-takers from the photographers.

    #45336
    orionid
    Participant

    Somewhere in all of this is a “guns don’t shoot people, photographers shoot people” joke.

    I’m kind of out to lunch on this still, but I think chupa and a few other hit it pretty squarely. It’s here, it’s not going away, and it’s the new instamatic (NTTAWWT). It does kind of irk me, however, when people talk about the “artistic qualities” of their phonecams. I’ve tried to unleash the artistic qualities in my droid. There are none. I’ve seen amazing scenes and said “I need to shoot that, all I have is my droid” and it looks like crap. I tweak the settings I can. Still looks like crap. There’s no EV adjust, no optical zoom, no flash adjust, and so forth. I wind up just getting pissed that I didn’t have my SLR with.

    #45337
    orionid
    Participant

    I keep seeing your avatar and saying “Yay! Schnee‘s back! Oh. Wait. Well, at least this guy seems pretty cool so far.”

    /No foul intended. Schnee was just that awesome. Still also miss miller9a and a few others, but damn glad staplermofo‘s back.

    #45338
    ennuipoet
    Participant

    B: I can’t lug a DSLR around with me everywhere.

    I do…I bought one of these http://www.thinktankphoto.com/products/retrospective-30-shoulder-bag.aspx and now I pack it with me every but the bathroom…and it goes to the bathroom with me in bars. If I am not carrying my DSLR I carry my Yashica Electro Rangefinder with cranked up TriX inside. I made the commitment to never be without a camera because every time I am without a camera I find something I want to shoot. (The reverse is not true, unfortunately, I do not find things I want to shoot constantly when carrying a camera) Yesterday at work I was walking a dog and an identically dressed (Johnny Cash black, hats, shades, the works but NOT Hasidics) were walking arm in arm down the sidewalk and I was PISSED I stepped out without my camera, it was a perfect street shot! I know it’s not practical for a lot of people, I can’t imagine toting a baby and my camera, but that’s OK because I would choose the camera over the baby…another reason why I choose to be childless.

    One day I will get my Fuji X100 and I will not be forced to carry the Think Tank around…though I probably will.

    #45339
    ennuipoet
    Participant

    Addendum to add: The X100 http://www.finepix-x100.com/en is perhaps the best small camera on the market today based entirely on image quality, though the X10 comes close it lacks the ISO and DR of the X100. The XPro1 http://fujifilm-x.com/x-pro1/en/ is..my god…it’s full of stars! It is also so far out of my price range that I would be choosing between it and a 5D and Real Good Glass (TM) and the XPro1, and I would be right back to the Big Ass Bag again.

    If I win my lawsuit I will buy the X100, if I win the lottery I will buy the XPro1(and the 5D and Mother Beautiful Glass)

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