Getting Creative With My Phone

Like in any artistic profession, it is difficult for photographers to keep the creative juices flowing all the time. An interesting advice I recently read on Dan Bailey’s blog on stretching a photographer’s creative boundary is to shoot with a different device. In his blog, Dan refers to Lisa Bettany, a professional photographer who is currently on a trip around the world with only her iPhone.

I have been following Lisa’s trip from her initial take-off and have been quite impressed by her photographs. Her journey is also a good validation of the growing iphoneography trend. I can’t say I’m comfortable with going on a trip of that magnitude without my DSLR – you never know when something incredible will show up and I just can’t live with the thought of not having my fast, sharp, not to mention incredibly expensive, photographic machine by my side to capture that rare moment of greatness. Nevertheless, I really appreciate what Lisa is doing and her sense of risk and adventure.

Dan’s blog did get me thinking about how much creativity I can get out of my own phone. In a previous post, I shared some photos I’d captured on my Android device. Dan’s advice got me looking through the photo album on my own phone, and thinking about how those photos may have inspired my own creativity:

1. Finding interesting views in ordinary places: the airport in Barcelona (above), the grocery store in Paris (below)My backyard in France (above); walking by everyday structures in Toronto (below)2. Capturing photos in intimate spaces: Acropolis Museum in Athens, Greece (above)3. Appreciating the art of food. A chocolatier in London England (above); Fire and Ice restaurant in Boston, USA (below)Cupcakes! (above); Delicious ice cream at Dutch Dreams parlour in Toronto (below)4. Seeing the night in a new light: Aras, France (above); Toronto harbour front (below)

I just love the light in the last photo. This shot has actually inspired me to hang indoor lights, like the ones hanging on the trees, over my bed. So my big questions for you are:

1) Do you think your phone will ever replace your camera?

2) What are some ways your phone can push your photographic creativity?
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10 responses to “Getting Creative With My Phone

  1. A great set of photos 🙂 I rarely use my camera phone but I really ought to give it more thought! I don't think it could ever replace my usual camera because I love having lots of manual control, but it's great to have an alternative sometimes 🙂

  2. Great post and good questions! I use to post photos from my phone on my blog every Friday, I recently found out about Vignette an amazing App for Android – you should check 😉
    1) I don't think my phone will replace my (DSLR) camera, but I do believe the phones are replacing compact cameras. 2) I guess the phone is the solution for those moments when you think “This could be a good photo, but I haven't my camera with me…”. At least you have your phone and can get creative with it 🙂
    PS: I didn't know about Lisa Bettany, thanks for sharing!

  3. my phone camera comes in handy sometimes and it has opened up a whole new world to people that would otherwise not be interested in photography. But I love my DSLR 🙂

  4. Some of these photos actually have a film vibe to them, which I really like. I think it's the lighting and soft-focus combined with a slight grain. My phone has the worst camera of all time and I rarely ever use it, so I'd have to say it will never replace my DSLR. When I do use my phone camera it's usually to remember something like fancy food in a restaurant, the orange and purples of a sunset or the priceless look on my nephew's face (and of course this only occurs when my DSLR isn't handy). I'd like to have a good pocket camera though for little moments like that 🙂

  5. Wow! I really love the lighting + composition in that last photo! It gives it a good feel. I'm not a photographer, but I'm not sure if I can trust just using my iPhone for travels. I have been using certain photo apps that make iPhone pictures look a lot better. I can trust it more for morning shots, but I'm afraid that it wouldn't do so well for night shots.

  6. 1. My iPhone has already replaced my DSLR and high-end compact. I always carry one of these as “backup”. Whenever an image presents itself, I think about how I will capture, edit and present it from my phone. I now rarely (since 2009) use my DSLR and edit in Photoshop on my computer.
    2. My iPhone is always with me so there is always a potential to grab a shot. But, because of the phone’s limitations (I do have separate manual focus and exposure controls) it forces me to think more about composition and lighting. I now also pre-visualize images more often. Plus, people behave differently when they see me with a phone as opposed to a “real camera”. So, now my iPhone has become my “real camera”.

  7. Just want you to know that I appreciate your tips, insights and incredibly alluring photographs. I also aim to take my own pictures of women in conflict whenever I can, though it's a digital camera only, posted on my blog womenwithavoice.com

  8. Amazing post! I love a challenge with my phone camera, and I've heard raving reviews on the camera of the iPhone 4S, but I don't think a phone will ever replace an actual camera for me. There's something about holding a camera that's just nostalgic and different. It's kind of like when you stand in front of the original Mona Lisa… it's just different than standing in front of a replica. =)

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