Focus Photography: Smartphone photos

January 15, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

in the beginning I was very sceptical about the things that I thought I wouldn´t need. Technical gadgets, toys for geeks or kids in puberty. A smartphone? Heaven forbid. A camera in a phone? What the hey for? After all, I have my semi-pro equipment. Me no need all that hypie stuff - I thought. Part of my personal revolution started in 2004, when, after resisting for five years, I got my first digital camera. By then I still had my first camera, a Nikon FG that I had bought with my first earned money while still going to school in 1983. My only other experiment was a Leica Mini-Zoom. Sounds expensive, but it was a Made-in-Japan-Camera (Kyocera) made for Leica, one of the company´s hiccups I suppose. With my first digital camera I started appreciating the quick results, the easy storing and the much faster learning process. All of a sudden I could afford making mistakes in every other picture until I had it right. In the course of time I developed my style, combining my old experiences from analog times with the digital experience. Along comes the smartphone. In the beginning the pictures from a smartphone were out of the question for serious use. In the meantime the quality of the pictures has improved dramatically, but one can still not use a smartphone as a camera for semi-professional projects. The handling is still too fidgety, and the variety of tools too limited as is the freedom of choice, apart from the fact that the small lens can only produce good quality when the light is just right. But then: Taking pictures with a smartphone can be interesting when doing challenge photography. Challenge photography happens when you limit yourself to only one option: take only one focal length lens, or only black and white, or only one aperture or time setting, only people as a motif, only man made structures as a motif, etc. etc.  So going off somewhere on a photography project with only a smartphone is another one of these challenges. Under this aspect a project can be a lot of fun, with surprising results. When one really concentrates on making the best out of the limited possibilities, one develops a certain eye, a certain angle, a very unique mode of motif search. Experimental smartphone photography has arrived in the galleries and museums with a fresh and new view on things. So much for the things that I thought I wouldn´t need. Here are some results from some of my own projects.
















From the kitchen-counter series





From the urban series




From one of the nature series (Potomac River)




From the urban series




From the urban sprawl series




From the urban series



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