Mobile phone photography is the latest craze. Millions of users around the globe have been shooting away with their camera phone and uploading to Instagram & other social networking sites. However, the more serious photographers have still not embraced mobile phone photography wholeheartedly as they prefer shooting with a standalone camera. Nothing wrong with the attitude, however I feel the time has come when the camera’s in these mobile phone have reached a point where they are capable of producing good results once the user gets familiar with them. Here are some reasons, I feel one should embrace photography using a camera phone.
# Makes you think – Till now, mobile phone camera’s have evolved a good deal but still most doesn’t give the photographer control over the technical aspects(like shutter-speed, aperture etc). Neither there is optical zoom(As I write this, there are phone camera’s cropping with this functionality) or the fancy AF system you so love of your DSLR. This means you have to use the grey cells. Exert them to find out a workaround to create a photograph envisioned as in your mind. Getting past your cell phone limitations will make you think creatively. This will push you to try out things you haven’t done before since you were able to achieve everything easily on your standalone camera. For me, this is the most important reason one should embrace cell phone photography as you’ll improve remarkably as you think & shoot with your mobile phone.
# Form Factor – Unlike your camera, the cell phone is tiny in footprint. You can carry it in your pocket easily anywhere & everywhere to make beautiful pictures. There is no fatigue which will make you lazy to shoot which is often the case when you lug around your heavy DSLR with you. Also the small size of the cell phone makes it easy to poke it into nooks & crannies to make pictures which would be impossible to make with your DSLR camera.
For the following picture, I had to put my camera through the window grill of my balcony. Nor my DSLR nor compact camera could enter the grill but my cell phone entered with aplomb.
# Candid Captures – When you point your cell phone at someone, the person feels relaxed as opposed to when you point your big ass DSLR. The huge size of the DSLR & the invisible tag which comes along with and shouts “This is a professional photographer at work” often makes the subject conscious. With a cell-phone you do not carry this tag nor appear intimidating. This lets your subject drop their guard down & they begin to enjoy. Haven’t we all seen, the candid captures from our mobile phones at a college function much better in terms of emotions than one taken with a professional camera? When people are relaxed by your presence, it is guaranteed that the outcome photographs will be one to cherish. A cell phone camera goes a long way in making people feel right at home.
# Minimal Post-Processing – Sure you can import the photographs from your cell phone onto your computer & edit them extensively in your favourite photo processor but the real art of photography lies in making the photograph through the camera & NOT in post production. Sure, a few minor editing is okay & here the cell phone marvels. Till now, there is no cell phone which has the capability to shoot RAW out-of-box. This means you have to contend with jpeg’s. Also the editing apps on your cell phone, will allow you only minor changes & this is where it helps you to shoot more carefully as you know there is not much headroom for you in post production. The result, you spend more time thinking before you make the photograph.
So do not wait. Take out your cell phone from your pocket & get shooting. Do share in your cell phone shooting experiences.