I can hear the response from multiple perspectives on this one...
Anyone who is not in the generation of smartphone users: "What is that pound sign in front of that confusing word about?"
Anyone who uses Twitter, Instagram, and now Facebook: "Hashtag WHAT?!"
Active photographers who use iPhones and Instagram and hashtags are probably the only people who are going to understand this iPhoneography thing. However, the concept of phone photography in general has greatly developed over the past few short years, I mean come on; we now have a phone that will take 40 megapixel images. That's more that some high-end, professional, full frame DSLR's. Everyone these days thinks they're a photographer. Pull out your phone which will autofocus and auto expose a scene for you, frame up something creative, and hit the touch screen button, and bam, you feel full entitlement that you are in fact a good photographer. Not to say that there haven't been good photos created on cell phones, but there's something that irritates me about the people who think they can just throw a bunch of filters on an image and post it to the world as their "photography."
Photography is a scientific process at it's roots. It's the science of light, the act of combining exposure, framing, and subject matter into something that can never be re-created exactly like the last one. REAL photography takes a lot of knowledge and hard work to create an interesting image; it is not pointing your phone at a sunset and throwing your favorite Instagram filter on it.
So let's all just talk about how I'm a huge hypocrite, please. Yes, I am 100% guilty of being the person I was just bashing on. I can't help it; I'm such a sucker for a good sunset! It always seems that the best one's happen when I don't have my DSLR with me, and so I'll snap a shot on my phone. My phone is like a stock photography gallery of sunsets. It's pathetic.
Yes, photography is all about science and math and precision, but it's also about finding moments and creating, in the words of my teacher Erik Sohner, "small vignettes of life." It's about the things that make you stop and look a little bit longer than you would at everything else. It's picking out something that stands out in your eyes and freezing it to keep for longer than that millisecond that it existed in real time.
So in this blog post, I'm going to play for both teams here. The phenomenon of phone photography is among us, and you can either choose to be really annoyed by it, or just have fun with it. And I've chosen the second option.
(Make sure to read the captions to learn more about the photo!)
Each of these images represents a memory, an experience, or a moment I felt an urgency to remember. All of these evoke some kind of emotion or reaction for me, and all of them are different. Some of them make me feel happy, some of them make me miss the way things used to be, some of them remind me of things I'd forgotten, and some of them just make me wish I'd shot them on my DSLR!
All of the things I just listed are things that successful photographs should do. So who's to say that "iPhoneography" can't be just as valid as any other kind of photography? It's just another interpretation of the same art form.
The point I'm making here is that if you want to create imagery, just create it. Don't think about the technical, don't think about what's holding you back, quit wasting time making up excuses and just CREATE. Use your phone, your DSLR, your point and shoot, your $30,000 Hassleblad medium format, your wet plate camera, your polaroid... whatever it is, just use it. Make images that make people feel.
But please, for my sanity and every other professional or aspiring photographer out there, also learn the correct technical way to do things so you can create images that are even better than your 40 megapixel phone will do. :)