Mobile Photography: 5 Reasons I Love It

25 thoughts on “Mobile Photography: 5 Reasons I Love It”

  1. Great article, I’ll be posting mine sometime next month. One of the things that stood out to me was when you mentioned the photograph after the passing of your father (sorry to hear that btw). I like what you said about how if you had your “real” camera you wouldn’t have taken this.

    I too feel like at times certain images aren’t worthy of my Fujifilm camera. For example, I never photograph anything that pertains to me or my life. I often go outside and document society, but never my own. Here’s to hoping I can capture more personal memories with my iPhone.

    1. For me, now, I document the people in my life 99 percent of the time no matter what camera I’m using. In the end, those are the photos that will matter to us so why save our expensive cameras for total strangers. We aren’t magnum photographers, so in the end, our photos will be for ourselves. When I’m an old man and looking back at my photos I won’t give a full about the photos I took documenting people not related to me. Therefore, I don’t really do street photography anymore aside from out of boredom and passing time on my way to doing something else. I can’t remember the last time I went outside to take photos. At least a couple years ago, ha.

      1. I am traveling the circle with this, too, in a way. In my twenties I always, compulsively, took photographs whenever we went out with friends. This being the 1980s and 90s and using a Nikon film compact that I wore out resulting in boxes of archived prints. I never considered that I was “photographing” just recording.
        Then my wife and I travelled 6 months across AU’s and NZ, and I documented everything on disposables.
        Only when the digital era arrived did I start to move towards wanting to be more than a simple documentarian, and I’m sure that that had a lot to do with gear. I still feel that I have to achieve something “higher” than just recording memories, but since my main impetus is travel photography I am getting more and more aware that I am starting to travel to photograph rather than the reverse. A reboot required on that thinking perhaps.

  2. Hi Josh
    I don’t have a phone. A have a Monochrom now. I recently went to Havana. I have a few Fujifilm cameras. So my choices are Monochrom for B&W and a Fuji X100 for colour. I would only take one camera out with me. The X100 for tourist pictures and the Mono for the street.

  3. In the past I shot with a phone (no smartphone, some basic LG with a great camera) exclusively for a while, because I couldn’t afford a new “real” camera (or film) at that time. I loved dealing with its limitations, but at some point I got the same issues I have with normal compacts: I like to play with DOF and I prefer focal lengths above 35mm, so phones are not really suited for my style.

    Nowadays, I do use my (i)phone for editing all of my Fuji X-E1 shots though. Presets in apps like RNI Films and BLACK (b+w) and VSCO (color) make life a lot easier.

  4. good post Josh, i agree with you that there are no excuses really to not take a photo nowadays, everyone is equiped with some kind of photo device. its all about collecting memories

  5. It’s just so different now. There’s the analogue photography trend happening around us. But then, I won’t be shooting film photos on silly things (sometimes ended up some good images) or 24/7 have a film camera lugging around me, so phone was really the destined choice no doubt about it. Until i saw my exhibit prints in 3×2 ft., it was all good. That had actually pushed me to keep going on with this path. I treat my mobile stuff as if they can be exhibits.

    Camera repair is a real bi_ch. I can’t imagine myself dropping off a rangefinder for more than a few days just to get the focusing mirrors adjusted and that being the only reason I had not Ebayed a dated M2 and cheap lens over last weekend. Oh and how about knowing how few photos I’m shoot normally.

  6. Great post, Josh. I am still coming to grips with my Sony Experia Z3. I don’t use it nearly enough. Hm, I must change that.

  7. Interesting reasons, gives as good of a case for mobile phones as I’ve seen. I imagine things like control and quality will only get better, but then there’s the form factor and having no view finder that kill it for me. Do you not find any detachment from the scene with how you have to compose and shoot with a phone?

    1. Not at all. I don’t really understand the viewfinder argument aside from when fighting with the sun. Even masters like Moriyama compose with LCDs in the modern world. I compose with the screen like anyone might. In terms of control and quality, I’ve made large enough prints that I don’t worry much about the quality. Low light doesn’t really bother me since I leave the flash on nearly all the time anyway. The control, well, the LG G4 offers complete manual control and shoots RAW. Truth be told I haven’t shot raw on anything so I don’t think much about that. And usually I shoot in Pmode on any camera I use so I don’t miss the control. I would argue that not having to think about all of these things makes me feel more connected to the scene as opposed to less.

  8. My mobile phone has been my main camera for the last 18 months since I changed from a Blackberry to an iPhone. It works well enough for most situations I’d find myself in or care to take a photo of. At the end of the day, these photos are for me to remember certain moments and to share (online) with friends and family, and the image quality of the pictures taken with an iPhone serves the purpose.

    Your first point brought to mind something I heard in an interview with the author, Paul Theroux: “If you take pictures, you tend not to look very hard at the thing that you’re taking a picture of. If you don’t take pictures, you look very hard and you remember much more of the experience that you’re looking at.”

    Happy shooting!

  9. Great site you have here but I was curious about if you knew of any discussion boards that cover the same topics talked about in this article?
    I’d really like to be a part of group where I can get advice from
    other knowledgeable individuals that share the same interest.
    If you have any recommendations, please let me know. Appreciate it!

    1. Hmm. There are some online surely. I believe there is even a website. I actually switched to an S7 recently and will be blogging about that shortly. The camera is on another level in my opinion. Really changed the way I consider small cameras.

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