Have smart phones really changed photography?

 

Lately I’ve read a lot of articles on how smart phones have changed photography. On either how intuitive it is, or how now the lines are blurred between a cell phone and high end camera, or how it forces you to be more creative blah blah blah. This one article on the Verve in particular really pushed me over the edge to even write this. This article is written by pro photographer, James Bareham

“Post process why the smartphone camera changed photography forever, Or how a pro fell in love with photography again” The author makes these comparisons of web shots shot by various cameras and an iPhone. Then proceeds to say how the iPhone is the better choice of camera. Also the sample comparison images were “safe.” The best possible lighting conditions and displayed small in size. No night photos, low light or interior pics were shown, although we know how they would have looked. But stating iPhones are better than dedicated cameras is a weird trend right now. Also in the title, “Or how a pro fell in love with photography again.” To me when you make that statement, it tells me you aren’t enjoying what you are doing now. Maybe the guy is burnt out from doing professional work and found happiness taking candid shots with a cell phone. At least that’s how I read it.

The biggest changes I have seen isn’t what most people are talking about. I believe there are two areas where cell phones in addition to social networking have impacted photography. First is less people are buying point and shoot cameras and secondly less people are printing their photos. Just like the way people used to share their 4”x6” prints a decade ago. They now share them on social networking and are content with viewing them on their 4”x5” screens.Here’s an article  that shows how DSLR sales are up while point and shoot sales are down.

Another thing I see pop up in the cell phone vs camera debate is, “A cell phone forces you to be more creative.” The creativity is up to you, the individual. Not the equipment. Maybe more resourceful to over come lighting limitations, distance ect, but certainly not more creative. Take a look at Digital Revs excellent series “Professional Photographer Cheap Camera Challenge” on Youtube and you’ll see the difference between creativity and resourcefulness. Hands down a DSLR will always give you more creative tools at your disposal. And I’m not talking about included filters that are on some cameras but the ability to control light and exposure. More usable ISO ranges, shutter speed, lens options. Bottom line you still have to compose your shot, and have something interesting to take a picture of no matter what camera you are using. After all a nice photo is a nice photo regardless of what it was shot with. 
 

 

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