No longer is photography only for enthusiasts with access to top digital cameras. Everybody has a camera at their fingertips with their mobile phone. Cameraphones have made photography affordable for the masses, easy to edit and instantaneous to upload to social media. Apps such as ‘Hipstamatic’ have even taken photography lingo main stream with their ‘full dark room editing suite’, making us all feel like pros.
Despite the ease of it all being at the touch of a button, there is an art to taking a good phone photo, and even more of an art in making it look effortless and not overworked, (we’re all guilty of going a bit OTT with the filters!).
iPhone photography has become such a huge phenomenon that it now has its own title ‘iPhonography’. There are mobile photography communities who share photos and advice online, and it even has its own awards ceremony, the MPA (Mobile Photography Awards). It has become particularly prevalent within Street photography. Here we explore why, and take a look at at a few of the professionals making beautiful iPhone photography look easy.
Aik Beng Chia, also known as ABC, begun his self-taught photography career in 2008 with the humble iPhone 2G. Rather than trying to emulate the higher quality of a DSLR he embraces the rawness of a phone photo in order to capture the gritty ordinariness of real life on the streets of his hometown Singapore.
For ABC, “iPhoneography…is an art by itself, an instant moment of randomness, spontaneity and different perspective”. It is this intuitive method of shooting which allows him to capture vulnerable moments of unstaged, raw emotion. ABC says that using a phone is “less intimidating” to the subject which means he can capture candid, unguarded images of them (iphoneogenic.wordpress.com).
This idea of ease between the subject and photographer is popular with documentary duo or ‘Brotographers’ as they call themselves, Travis Jensen and Brad Evans. People feel relaxed when they see an iPhone. The fact that lenses cannot be interchanged on the iPhone means that they’re forced to approach the subject, “to get closer – really close”. This means that their images are personal and intimate. Their charm is in the imperfectness which gives them “a raw street-feel…very wabi-sabi” (sfgate.com).
For Zac Crawley of Candour Creative, the unpolished, behind the scenes vibe of iPhonography lends itself to Instagram, which for him, is no place for DSLR cameras, “there’s a reason why you can’t upload to Instagram from computers” he comments. Phone photos are meant to be instantly edited and uploaded, to capture and communicate the essence of a moment. They will never replace high end photography because they belong to a separate genre.
Someone who knows exactly how to capture a spontaneous moment is Hyunbum Nam. In the overcrowded world of Streetstyle photography, Nam’s colourful iPhone photos stand out. They’re unpolished, off the cuff and full of movement. He incorporates the environment into quirky compositions and uses high contrast colours which makes for some highly entertaining and dynamic shots.
For more iPhonography inspiration check out these other talented instagrammars: @gregshcmigel, @takinyerphoto, @johnguzman, @mishobaranovic, @fashion.
Article by Elly from Just Noise Pictures