Phone Photography – An Innovative Approach

Currently, we live in the most opportune era for photography. From the DSLRs to Mirrorless, film to phone, the time has never been better to take up this hobby. Technological advances have made this pursuit very easy.

Over the years, smartphone cameras have evolved to perform spectacularly. In terms of ease of operation, the smartphone is the ideal camera to carry wherever you go.

With these developments, it surprises no one that phone photography is a popular recreation activity. Everyone owns a smartphone nowadays, and thus a layperson can go about clicking pictures. Now, new phones sell based on their camera capabilities. And this has benefits that go beyond the typical selfie or family photo.

The phone, to put it simply, has revolutionised photography.

With the phone, you are always in your photography shoes. You can swiftly capture anything you come across.

I, for one, am late to the phone photography scene. As a mirrorless camera user, I never considered phone photography seriously. I always regarded it as a dilution of the art, a mere shade of what photography offers. Off late, however, I am beginning to challenge my earlier view.

With the newer phones on the market, one need not worry about the resolution. The technology behind them has progressed so much that people are beginning to even shoot movies with them! (Read about it here)

One of its main advantages lies in its compact size. You can carry it wherever you go. Often, photographers schedule times when they don their photography hats and go out to shoot. With the phone, you are always in your photography shoes. You can swiftly capture anything you come across.

A bonus is that phones can get perspectives that would be hard to emulate with a DSLR. They can be placed at all odd angles, thus getting images impossible to obtain with SLRs.

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With this new mindset, I began to shoot with the phone. And sure, my first set of images was quite average. But as I embraced this approach, I better appreciated its potential.

As a people photographer, the phone is a less invasive way of getting your shot. While doing street/portrait photography, I’ve noticed that my subjects sometimes tend to get intimidated by my camera’s lens pointing at them. The phone’s compact and ubiquitous nature combats this.

Phone Portraiture by Ishan Shanavas. Shot in Karnataka, India
Phone Portraiture

There have been many photographic opportunities during my travels that I would have missed had I not shot on the phone. These moments are a testament to the virtues of phone photography.

Dead rat snake on the road.
Rat Snake Roadkill

So will I forgo the traditional camera altogether? Of course not. As of now, the zoom capabilities and image quality of a DSLR/Mirrorless far outperform the standard phone. But, as is with most things in life, I will adopt a balanced approach, utilising both devices. Only then will I grow as a photographer.

Lastly, the true craft behind photography lies in the eye of the photographer. No gear, be that a phone or camera can substitute that. As photographers, we must remember this. We determine how a photograph turns out, not the device gadget we capture it with.

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Published by Ishan Shanavas

I am a young adult, interested in nature, photography, art and culture. An aspiring polymath, I share my learnings through my blog. I also include insights from my favourite books.

3 thoughts on “Phone Photography – An Innovative Approach

  1. Nicely phrased! The shift to Digital and almost infinite storage has also accelerated this trend! And good to see, serious photographers appreciate the handiness and availability of equipment now!


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