A More Serious, Laid Back Approach to Mobile Photography
They say that best way to rest is to switch to entirely different activity instead of doing nothing at all. That’s very true in life, at least in mine. I take rest from my work with my hobby – photography. At shooting I’m trying to be quite serious both in terms of the quality and style, which I could best describe as honest photography. By quality I mean using fresh and reliable film, trustworthy photo equipment in order to keep the final picture as technically and creatively good as my present skills let me (with exceptions :)). To describe a bit more what I call honest photography – I seek to find and show (or keep it to myself) small miracles in my life and environment by selective framing and exposing, but not by over processing the frame and creating what wasn’t in the place of shooting. I like natural photos that are able to carry mostly positive emotional charge.
But at the same time I let some of my phone photos to be completely different – extremely saturated, unnatural color contrast, overcooked, over processed and to be honest I even used Instagram filters two times! Just don’t beat me, please… :)
Mobiliography and Instagraming started quite accidentally; found good scene, hadn’t camera in hand and had to use phone instead. Or, other time my camera broke in the middle of holidays, and while I switched to backup body I used phone. As a result, I got some bearable pictures, created Instagram account, posted some, thought that phone finally came to some level of maturity and could be really used as alternative for camera, wrote an article for Steve website with the message that best camera is one you have in hand.
But I kept on shooting with my phone, even I had real camera in hand, even several cameras. I shot even I had three cameras in bag in fact :). Strange me I thought. But I shoot further processed those photos and kept on posting them. And at the same time I begin to think and analyze what is happening and why it is happening.
The thing, which is actually happening, is that I created a different role to my phone snapshots. I switch to different approach and keep two processes running at the same time. And I give those processes and end result a different meaning. My view to “normal” photos stays the same but phone shots are perfect for capturing a momentary emotion. It’s a glimpse of passing by time, a less contemplating capture of the moment. As for quality and honest approach, I’d say following – mobileography is like sketching while proper photography is like painting. And when you sketch you don’t pay that much attention to keep things real, you just rush to present the idea and let yourself experiment more. So here comes extensive processing – it lets me to strengthen the point which I felt was important at that moment. Another remark regarding image quality is that phone is still not there compared to real camera, and while picture don’t carry this initial IQ, I don’t feel obliged to keep it further. Instagram’s square format and phones depth of field pushes things even further, I have to adjust and learn to compose in different way and I have to learn to work with deep zone of focus, which is both unusual for me.
Fun is that in fact I rest, rest from recreational activity, and this transition gives fresh insights for my “more serious” photography. Its easy, its fun and its still useful.
Tech note – most photos here and in Instagram are from iPhone 6s, processed in native Photo, Snapseed or Prisma apps.
Thanks for reading,