"The best camera is the one you have with you!" If you are a photographer, you have heard that again and again, and there is a certain logic to it.
But is it true if you are a serious photographer and the camera you have with you is an iPhone?
In my last workshop, one participant was a blogger who took pictures to illustrate her entries. She found that the iPhone worked better for her than her larger DSLR. How could this be? For online viewing she didn't need lots of megapixels. She didn't use an assortment of lenses. She believed that the iPhone gave her superior color, right out of the camera.
She wanted to learn to use her iPhone with more skill. In class, she learned to capture better pictures using the native camera. We discussed using a camera app that gave her more control over shutter speed and white balance. She practiced tweaking her photos using the editing feature in Photos. She saw how she could add, adjust and layer filters in the VSCO app. She learned how to selectively enhance her images with the app Snapseed. She could do all this and share her images to her followers right from her iPhone.
A better understanding of the iPhone camera itself along with a small repertoire of editing apps can make the difference between snapshots and fully developed photographs that will please any photographer. Since it actually is the camera that is always with you, I think you will find that you take more chances. You will try to capture things that didn't seem worth the bother of pulling out your DSLR, and some of those things might make great images. You will find that you can be quick and very discreet, which is useful for street photography or just making images of what is happening around you. There is an informality to the process, like sketching to the painter. But the images you make can be serious, comical, poignant, beautiful, evocative, human, awe inspiring, and everything else a good photograph can be.
Still skeptical? Check out Pulitzer Prize winner David Hume Kennerly's iPhone images here: http://kennerly.com/portfolio/iphone/. Or New York City street photographer, Robert Herman. His new book, “The Phone Book”, is due next out month. You can preview those images here: http://www.robertherman.com.
Should you give up your DSLR? Probably not. Yet time spent mastering iPhone photography could add creative spark to your portfolio as well as a lot of spontaneous fun and games to your daily photography practice.