eyePhone: The Controversial Discussion

It would seem that we struck several nerves this morning. In just a few short hours since we made the announcement of eyePhone: Making Stronger Photographs With Your Camera Phone, I’ve learned that camera phone photography is one hot button issue out there!. So much so, that I thought it might be interesting to make the discussion public here on the blog. I’ll preface the discussion by saying that the eyePhone eBook is receiving excellent feedback. Al Smith did an amazing job putting his mobile phone photography course into eBook form, and it’s an inspiring and eye opening read.

In my announcement post, I asked the question: Can a camera as limited as those found in smartphones, actually make you a better photographer? If so, why do you feel that way? If not, then why not? Have smartphones earned a place is the digital photography industry?

I know people get unnaturally passionate when it comes to their mobile phones, so please let’s not turn this into an Apple vs Android vs Blackberry (ouch… that actually physically hurt to type!) discussion. Share your thoughts and enjoy the debate folks!

8 Responses

  1. Tim T.

    I’m so glad you did this follow up post Dave. I’ve long felt the same way that my cell phone has helped me become a better photographer in every way. Why? Because its always with me, and that gives me the opportunity to shoot more photos. I find that dealing with the sub-par camera found in my cell phone forces me to look for better ways of composing my shots.

    Now if I can just keep my hands stable (Al Smith is correct on that note – thanks for the headphone tip) then my cell phone shots will look much better.

    Keep up the great work, always a pleasure.

  2. JT Ford

    I somewhat agree… Yes, a cameraphone is handy and can probably help with learning composition, but it doesn’t change the fact that the image quality is still very low. There’s so much noise and grain that it’s almost not worth using, unless maybe you want to use it for sketching out ideas to come back and shoot with your DLSR? I think cameraphones are good for shooting and sharing with friends who will be looking at the pictures from their phones also. On a bigger screen, the quality makes the images just look aweful…

    my two cents…

  3. Katherine Littleton

    There are times where I feel the world has just gone mad, and this is one of them. Once upon a time, photographers shot with film and a cardboard box with a pinhole in it. Now we have all of this fancy technology and we are questioning the validity of its place? I say, if it takes photos then it most definitely has a place in the photo industry (and that includes disposable film cameras too). Its the photographer, not the gear right?

  4. Joanna Emm

    I disagree with the comments about image quality. I think it depends on the type of phone. Ive been able to shoot and print great quality 5×7 prints from an iPhone.

    I even used it as my primary camera on a recent vacation, just to prove to myself that it’s just as useful as my dslr (which requires me to wear a small pack to lug around).

  5. I find both DOF control and the relatively wide angle lens to be limiting. Would prefer something similar to a 50mm lens at f2.0 over what is found on most phones.

  6. Tim

    I once read a post by Michael Reichman (luminous landscape) saying how sick he was of hearing that how photographic accomplishment was up to the photographer. He felt the opposite is true, that it’s all about the equipment. This is a guy who is so accomplished that his only limitations are imposed by the equipment he carries. What he failed to understand is that the rest of us would struggle with the greatest tools ever devised. I suggest that doing serious work with cellphone cameras is an excellent way to stretch our personal limits in a confirmed space. Bravo to Al Smith for tackling this subject and you, Dave, for talking this up as a meaningful issue.

  7. Hi gang I just found this thread and though I would say hello. I have really enjoyed the feed back on the book from all over the internet and it is helping me craft the course even more. I think the thing to remember is that not every tool is for every photographer. Some will find their creative juices stirred by shooting film again and some by shooting a camera phone. I say the most important thing is to find the tool that stirs you up and shoot it all the time!

Leave a Reply