Monday, June 30, 2014

Cell Phone Photography

I remember when the first cell phones with cameras were available. I thought it was pointless to have a camera on your phone since the quality was terrible and, at that time, we only shared it through MMS.

I think I was a teenager when camera phones were just entering the market. I only used it to take selfies. I don't want to sound old, but we took selfies before front facing cameras were even a thing! 

At that time, the cameras were only 0.3 MP and there was no such thing as flash. I can't believe how quickly things have changed since then. Now, the camera's capabilities are one of the deciding factors for buying a new phone. 

Since the iPhone's release, things have progressed very quickly. Cell phones are now called smartphones and flip phones are a thing of the past!

With social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, photography has exploded in the past few years. There are thousands of photo editing apps, camera apps and photography related apps available on all smartphones. There are so many photos being shared around the world on a second-to-second basis. 

So, I guess I take back what I said about camera phones being pointless. I never use my point-and-shoot camera anymore. Although the quality of my cell phone camera does not compare to an actual, it is just more convenient!  

This convenience starts to question the need for professional photography and photographers.  I think the art form and the profession is starting to become unappreciated. I'm saying unappreciated instead of obsolete because I work with photos on a daily basis. The fact is no smartphone photo will compare to a masterful photo taken with a camera by a professional.  I edit photos on a daily basis and many people would be surprised how much knowledge and skills is needed to capture a photo.

With that being said,  I'm not here to argue against cell phone photography. I think it is a great piece of technology and even I can admit I've taken many decent photos with my phone. It has become it's own art form. 

The low quality, processed images remind me of photos taken with vintage film cameras. You probably can recognize these photos if you have Instagram. You can achieve many art effects with the variety of apps available for download.

I was doing research online and I came across the term "iphoneography". Which is pretty much exactly as it sounds - photography using iPhones (or smartphones). There are tons of communities and galleries based around this type of photography. Even professional photographers are starting to use smartphones as another type of tool for their art. 

The other thing about cell phone photography is it allows individuals to take ownership of their work. This goes for any type of camera, not just smartphones, which is something that digital technology is constantly allowing us to do. 

The smartphone allows anyone to edit their photos and it does give one a since of pride to show off their work rather than buying a mass produced piece of work.

Newer smartphones now have amazing cameras, that usually take high resolution images but I do have a few tips though for those who are wanting to print their photos that want to make sure the quality is up to standard:

  • Please do not print front-facing camera pictures. These photos never turn out - unless you want a 2"x3" photo. 
  • Change your camera settings. Most cameras have features like exposure balance, ISO, white balance and etc. You can adjust these settings to maximize the quality of your photos.
  • Turn on your HDR feature. This feature is automated to try to capture the best image with different light and exposure. It usually works the best if you have a steady hand and best for taking photos of nature, landscapes and cityscapes.
  • Use your flash! I don't see very many people using the flash function on their phones but it does help in low light or dark environments.
  • If you are going to edit your photos with a cell phone app, please make sure it saves high quality images. Usually these apps are designed for sharing so they will lower the quality to reduce the file size. 

To truly turn your photo into a work of art, please visit our website at to start printing them on canvas!


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