iphoneography - great tool or dumbing down?

Started Jul 13, 2012 | Discussions
Buchan-Grant
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iphoneography - great tool or dumbing down?
Jul 13, 2012
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Hulamike
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Don't get mired in terminology
In reply to Buchan-Grant, Jul 13, 2012

Don't get mired in description and terminology. Art is created by PEOPLE using various tools, not the tools. Photography as an art form that utilizes many different camera systems. There is no reason to look down ones nose at photographic art made with a cellphone camera, it's just one of many available cameras.

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spacelounge
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Re: Don't get mired in terminology
In reply to Hulamike, Jul 13, 2012

im guessing that those who complain about smartphone photography have never taken a good photo in their life, and never will.

Lecia Schmeica

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Buchan-Grant
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Re: Don't get mired in terminology
In reply to Hulamike, Jul 13, 2012

Hulamike:

I see great photography as having artistic merit but I see it more as a craft than an art, and like most crafts, rubbish tools often mean rubbish results. Photography is a marriage of science and aesthetics but it needs both.

Whenever I see 'art photography' I start to get queesy, in fact, you'll have to excuse me....
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Buchan-Grant
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Re: Don't get mired in terminology
In reply to spacelounge, Jul 13, 2012

Leica Schmeica:

I think my post warrants being labeled something other than a 'complaint'. surely its at least a 'reasoned anaylsis', or am I just getting mired in terminology again:)

On your comment, you're welcome to see my pictures using the link below and judge for yourself, and I would love to see your work too!

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Hulamike
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Pretty judgmental
In reply to spacelounge, Jul 13, 2012

Pretty judgmental there. Everyone can determine what is good or not on their own. The point I was making is that it doesn't matter what camera is used. The only thing that matters is the end product. Many serious fine art photographers use cheap Dyana and Holga cameras precisely for their light leaks and crappy IQ. Others use Lieca and PhaseOne. To each his own.

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Hulamike
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The irony of it all
In reply to Buchan-Grant, Jul 13, 2012

That's the irony of photography. It's an art, an honorable craft, a technical pursuit, a business plan, a hobby to discuss on DPR, all of the above or pick and choose. Photography is many things to different people.

I have been getting by as both a commercial and fine art photographer for over 40 years. What I consider art would probably shock you. It aint necessarily pretty pictures of nature or kids although it could be that from time to time. All that matters to me is that my work be honest and not cliche. I strive for a certain look, an edge. And, no. I have never kept a gallery of images here nor do I advertise a web site of my work. DPR is all about gear really. No sense advertising personal vision here.

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Uwe Steinmueller
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Re: The irony of it all
In reply to Hulamike, Jul 13, 2012

That's the irony of photography. It's an art, an honorable craft, a technical pursuit, a business plan, a hobby to discuss on DPR, all of the above or pick and choose. Photography is many things to different people.

True.

DPR is all about gear really. No sense advertising personal vision here.

Not sure, maybe you could inspire some.
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theappwhisperer
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Re: Don't get mired in terminology
In reply to Hulamike, Jul 15, 2012

I agree, there has always been a huge debate over what's photography and what's art and it continues to rage in mobile photography. Interestingly it's not just that debate that's raging but also the whole terminology relating to iPhoneography. We just interviewed Richard Koci Hernandez, a hugely influential mobile photographer and he believes this term is outdated and will soon be replaced with 'photography' - basically saying there's no need to define whether the images are shot with a mobile device or not. Definitely interesting and changing times ahead...
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spacelounge
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Re: Pretty judgmental
In reply to Hulamike, Jul 15, 2012

using a holga for its low IQ is the same as obsessing over dynamic range or pixel peeping and spending a fortune on a leica or a dslr..

its style over substance, and substance is what photography is about. as is any kind of art.

Hulamike wrote:

Pretty judgmental there. Everyone can determine what is good or not on their own. The point I was making is that it doesn't matter what camera is used. The only thing that matters is the end product. Many serious fine art photographers use cheap Dyana and Holga cameras precisely for their light leaks and crappy IQ. Others use Lieca and PhaseOne. To each his own.

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Hulamike
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Agreed
In reply to theappwhisperer, Jul 15, 2012

I would totally agree. I found it usefull a few years ago to identify a series of large format inkjet prints as emanating from my cellphone. Few were exploiting this avenue in 2007, at least in Hawaii. There was a certain novelty in attempting framed gallery work from a cellphone.

Mind you, in 2007 I owned a low end LG cellphone (hardly smart) with a primitive camera I loved. Why? Because I could intentionally set a false white balance (fluorescent for daylight lets say) and play with the wacked out results. (really wish I could do that with iPhone) When printed largish, 24"x36", they were very pixelated yet painterly in a lithographic way, both attributes I admired. I was proud of my investigations and results and wanted to identify the process. As such I identified these prints as cellphone images back then, the results weren't achieved in post processing.

But now my iPad has a color filter in its dreadful Photo Booth app that's pretty close. 5 years ago, original art. Today, generic one button app. The only thing in common is that they're both photographic images so lets DO START calling all this simply photography. It doesn't matter how the base image was captured...or edited for that matter.

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Hulamike
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Furthermore
In reply to Hulamike, Jul 15, 2012

While were at it, lets PLEASE kill Will Crocket's attempt to rename everything "Picturing". Hate it! I'm good with: still versus video, photo versus video, photo versus movie. Just because DSLRs now shoot adequate HD video is no reason to rename both disciplines. I suppose that helps him sell CDs though.

Rant over now...

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Alupang
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iphoneography = i-fad for crappy i-phone cam quality.
In reply to Buchan-Grant, Jul 16, 2012

This fad will fade--just like how I was amazed with Photoshop's tacky effect filters long long ago. So the general i-masses are finally discovering how to overcook poor quality pics attempting to be all "artsy-craftsy"... how cute/sad. Sigh.

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theappwhisperer
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Re: iphoneography = i-fad for crappy i-phone cam quality.
In reply to Alupang, Jul 16, 2012

have you seen some of these images though. You may be surprised at just how good some of them are. Take a look at our interview with Richard Koci Hernandez, his street photography is really very good.
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Hulamike
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Stop before its too late
In reply to theappwhisperer, Jul 16, 2012

Before the inevitable flame war erupts, let me suggest both of you are right.

Poster #1 above sees and comments on the wave of non-creative photographers whose only ambition is to document their breakfast bagel for Facebook. They see the cutsie canned effects as "creative".

Poster #2 above realizes there is room for genuine creative pursuit with a cellphone cam, it's just another tool.

The inevitable difference of opinion should be accepted for what it is without argument. You're both right.

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Alupang
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Re: Stop before its too late
In reply to Hulamike, Jul 16, 2012

Sure I have no problem with what you said. Heck, hand a lump of coal to a real artist and great things will result right? But for the other 99.9 percent of us, no.

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Buchan-Grant
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Re: Stop before its too late
In reply to Hulamike, Jul 16, 2012

totally agree with that
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TonyGamble
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Re: iphoneography = i-fad for crappy i-phone cam quality.
In reply to theappwhisperer, Jul 16, 2012

“Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.” -Degas

If you can do that with a camera phone then it is art.

Certainly the OP blog shows something that others probably will not have appreciated at the time.

Tony

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Hulamike
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Re: Stop before its too late
In reply to Alupang, Jul 16, 2012

I have been bemused by the, "Art must be good, bad or insignificant" statement all my life. Its an unanswerable question as it depends on one's individual value system, intellect and what type of rods and cones your eyeballs possess. All I've ever asked of anyone is, is my work interesting? You don't have to like it, it doesn't need rating until I enter the commercial realm with it where it becomes a commodity just like a box of corn flakes. Until then it's just an expression of self.

So, yeah. For the 99.9% it doesn't really matter. Art is intentional, not accidental. If your intention is to make art, it is art. If your intention is documentary then it's a moot issue because you're not attempting to make fine art...probably.

Probably too heavy for DPR. Sorry.

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kelpdiver
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Re: iphoneography = i-fad for crappy i-phone cam quality.
In reply to theappwhisperer, Jul 17, 2012

theappwhisperer wrote:

have you seen some of these images though. You may be surprised at just how good some of them are. Take a look at our interview with Richard Koci Hernandez, his street photography is really very good.

with the 4S and the new Nokia in particular, the bar has been raised for what these phones can do. In day lighting especially, they're not giving up too much to the compact cameras. But they're still vastly inferior to the better compacts and any of the interchangeables. Sometimes you can get artistic results from using crappy gear. More important, you can often get shots you wouldn't get because you were only carrying your phone with you.

But most of the time, the subject heading here is correct: iCrap. Wildly distorting reality because your tool isn't capable of capturing it well. I for one don't long for the days of the Poloroid cameras and the image "quality" it gave. Bettter tools are available, and better PP tools to produce that "art."

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