27 October 2016

Photography and phone-photography

I had a little discussion with an enthusiast on how the public perceives that mobile phones have killed digital cameras.
Then the discussion turned to what is photography...
I wrote:
Once a person acquires a phone with a camera (pretty much any current offering) he/she becomes a photographer. I don't know anybody that has not taken an image on their phone, or others', myself included (I regard phones as phones, not as cameras!).
Then comes the difference: are we just happy recording and sharing or are we driven by the desire to create unique art, with little to no intention to record an event/place for memory/history sake?
I think the latter might be better served by a tool that is dedicated to create images versus a multitasking tool that acts primarily as a mobile phone and happens to have a lens in-built too. While incredible (yes, I use the right word: hard to believe) work has been created on the iPhone (great marketing from them) I just can't bring myself to get in the frame of mind to create something photographically that doesn't make me wish I had a better tool.
Documenting is no longer my priority...

Thistle seed to the wind_B_c
adapted Helios 44-7 58mm f2  1/1600sec

Semantically anybody that makes images is a photographer but I distinguish between mere recording and consciously be driven by the passion to create an image. Occasionally I am just recording but it doesn't feel right; I am more in tune with myself when I "create".
Any camera however is just a tool, although the line blurs sometimes when I hear people defending their choices like it's religion ;-)
So, if it's a tool, I view the phone as a multi-tool affair with screwdriver, pliers, wrench cutting blade and god-knows-what else in one place. A dedicated camera (ideally with interchangeable lenses) is to me a finely tuned job-specific tool.
I know which one I prefer if I want to find pleasure and satisfaction in doing the task hoping for a decent result.


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