My iPhone 6 is better than my X100F

Started Aug 5, 2017 | Discussions thread
Cliff Fujii
Cliff Fujii Veteran Member • Posts: 8,322
Re: Real Life Beats #SmartPhoneLife

akin_t wrote:

em jo photo wrote:

Three thoughts:


Shallow depths of field? If your friend can twist his X100F's aperture dial, he can open worlds of possibility, straight-out-of-camera, that his iPhone 6 can't touch.

Curious that this was never a consideration. Does he never photograph people?


Smartphone photographs all look the same. Same blue skies, same hard blacks, same primary colors, same blocked-and-faded Instagram filters.

I think that's great: the more smartphone AI processing converges on a single approach to color and exposure--the more it coaches and narrows the popular understanding of what's possible with photography--the more room there is for other (human) approaches to distinguish themselves.

Case in point: it seems your friend didn't even realize shallow depths of field were possible with his X100F. Perhaps he didn't even realize that could be done in photography, at all.

(An interesting aside: Apple insiders report corporate disappointment with slow / low adoption of the iPhone 7 plus's "portrait mode" shallow-depth simulation. They thought it would be a big hit. It hasn't been--customers just aren't using it as much as they'd hoped. Why not? What's the problem? It's not automatic--you have to turn it on . . . . )


As you point out: smartphone photographs only look crisp on smartphones. If you try to print them big--gallery or wall art, double-truck album spreads, etc.--they fall apart.

Smartphone photography is little more than another octopus arm of the "attention economy," yet another craven attempt to funnel as much human concentration and energy as possible through omnipresent, endless 5" x 3" advertising scrolls. But as we all know: the real, actual life that goes on outside the 5" screen is far more interesting, vibrant, and satisfying. We are better off living lives that are too deep, too complicated, too rich for hashtag classification and summary.

The X100F is a tool for art that gets attention, conversation, use in real life. It's for prints and books and big screens people gather around and share and make for each other, together. It wasn't designed to produce free "content" for Mark Zuckerberg's various advertisement scrolls. Neither were our lives, by the way.

Old people always worry about young people's blind leaps into the future; I know I sound like my parents did thirty-five years ago, complaining about MTV. All the same, it's becoming clear that the more our children and young adults funnel their lives through the omnipresent 5" screen, the more they miss valuable real-life socialization and experience, the less happy they are.

My advice to your friend: shoot your X100F more, print your photographs, share them with friends you actually have to meet in person, leave your smartphone at home. Photography is a billion times bigger, broader, better out here in the real world.

My advice to camera manufacturers: don't change, don't respond to attention economy BS. THANK YOU for making creative tools that develop and celebrate our human choices rather than some chintzy robot's, tools that help us depict and enjoy our actual lives any way we'd like without binding us to some petty, craven advertising scheme.

Lol, what a truly ridiculous thought process.

You're trying really hard to conflate smartphone photography with the ubiquitous online culture we have today; somehow you seem to naively think the two have anything to do with each other.

Look at how you're advocating prints and sharing them as the only viable way to live life and share memories. You truly have no idea what you're talking about, not a damn clue.

There is some truth in what em jo said.  When you see an object to photograph, you are looking at reflected light.  When you look at that image on a computer, you see transmitted light.  When you look at the image on a print, you see reflected light.

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