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07-08-2014, 04:37 PM   #511
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As much as I love my dSLR and despise my own phone's photographic abilities, I've seen a photography exhibit somewhere local to me (museum or gallery, I don't remember exactly) where all the shots were from an IPhone.

The impression I got was that if I hadn't been told they were form an I-Phone, I wouldn't have known it.

Does it mean an I-Phone or any SmartPhone is better? No, but as people will continually point out, an image is often what the photographer makes of it and not necessarily a function of the equipment.

The explosion in photography as a hobby is quite related to SmartPhones and simple P&S cameras and the improvements the technology has made with regard to the ability of these supposedly inferior devices and their ability to actually put out quality images. The masses, whom will go through a Smartphone every 2 to 3 years, see these improvements with each updated phone. They don't have to think much about their shots other than to frame them.

I won't say this makes them good photographers. I do know that even for myself, I spend too much time sometimes thinking about my settings. I often get the best exposure I can get at the expense of composition that isn't quite what I wanted. I'm having to teach myself to worry less about getting the exposure right and focus on the image itself. Of course the beauty of shooting a dSLR is that I can allow my exposure to be a little less than ideal. Afterall, that's what RAW and PP is for.

As for the exhibit using an IPhone. I have no doubt the guy used PP to get the images I saw. That's part of what takes an image from snapshot to art. But even the most complicated dSLR can still be abused as a snaptool and requires the eye of the user to make more of it.

07-08-2014, 05:27 PM   #512
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QuoteOriginally posted by Uluru Quote
Mobile phone is not a photographic tool — it is a snap tool. Because you cannot make a photograph through it, only take a digital negative as the device sees it fit.

Photography is defined by the level control of capture of characteristics of reflected light; the size of the aperture, the shutter speed, the sensitivity of the medium used for capture, and how that reality is recreated again in the reflected light of a print. If you cannot control willingly all of those parameters, or any of them in any combination, it is not making of any sort.

So in fact one cannot learn a thing about photography using a smartphone. Furthermore, if the picture made is not printed, it is not a photograph. It is only a negative or a positive, but not a photograph. When you look at the output on the phone screen, or a computer screen, that image you are looking at is not a photograph.

Print it out, and it becomes a photograph.
I think our definition of photography is different.

To me if one makes a conscious effort create a pleasing photograph, they are practicing photography. It matters not what the tool is or what controls are available on it. If Ansel Adams decides to use iphone, I am sure he will still produce great photography and not merely snapshots.

Using an art analogy, if I decide to use only a few colors for my painting, as long as I use my tool consciously to elicit a certain response, I am still practising art.

Last edited by Andi Lo; 07-08-2014 at 06:08 PM.
07-08-2014, 05:57 PM   #513
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QuoteOriginally posted by Uluru Quote
Mobile phone is not a photographic tool — it is a snap tool. Because you cannot make a photograph through it, only take a digital negative as the device sees it fit.

Photography is defined by the level control of capture of characteristics of reflected light; the size of the aperture, the shutter speed, the sensitivity of the medium used for capture, and how that reality is recreated again in the reflected light of a print. If you cannot control willingly all of those parameters, or any of them in any combination, it is not making of any sort.

So in fact one cannot learn a thing about photography using a smartphone. Furthermore, if the picture made is not printed, it is not a photograph. It is only a negative or a positive, but not a photograph. When you look at the output on the phone screen, or a computer screen, that image you are looking at is not a photograph.

Print it out, and it becomes a photograph.
QuoteQuote:
pho·tog·ra·phy

noun \fə-ˈtä-grə-fē\ : the art, process, or job of taking pictures with a camera




Full Definition of PHOTOGRAPHY

: the art or process of producing images by the action of radiant energy and especially light on a sensitive surface (as film or an optical sensor)

QuoteQuote:
pho·to·graph

noun \ˈfō-tə-ˌgraf\ : a picture made by a camera



Full Definition of PHOTOGRAPH

: a picture or likeness obtained by photography


No where in those official definitions (courtesy of Mirriam Webster) does it state one must print the recorded image onto a physical, non-electronic medium in order for it to be a photograph. I think you might be applying a defined yet outdated standard to your view of the definition of photography with respect to the final photograph.
07-09-2014, 01:34 AM   #514
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QuoteOriginally posted by Uluru Quote
Mobile phone is not a photographic tool — it is a snap tool. Because you cannot make a photograph through it, only take a digital negative as the device sees it fit.

Photography is defined by the level control of capture of characteristics of reflected light; the size of the aperture, the shutter speed, the sensitivity of the medium used for capture, and how that reality is recreated again in the reflected light of a print. If you cannot control willingly all of those parameters, or any of them in any combination, it is not making of any sort.

So in fact one cannot learn a thing about photography using a smartphone. Furthermore, if the picture made is not printed, it is not a photograph. It is only a negative or a positive, but not a photograph. When you look at the output on the phone screen, or a computer screen, that image you are looking at is not a photograph.

Print it out, and it becomes a photograph.
Oh boy, you realy hit the jackpot this time I think.

So I'm a litlle old school and even print at home. I have an A3+ HP printer and do some printing, but not to much. So in some parts I agree with you.

Not to the extend that a picture taken only becomes a photograph when printed, but the value off the photograph is in the printing. Once deleted or lost in cloud or on a harddrive any picture that is not printed never excisted.

The world off photographing is changing and new generations look very different to a photographic tool. For them the cellphone is the ultimate camera. They don't take photo's off the world around them, but off themselfes in the world they live. No idea what value such an image can get in the future, but for now it is marginal.

Sony's new camera is made for this:
Sony Slaps Front-Facing Flash On the New Xperia C3, the 'PROselfie Smartphone'

and then there is the selfie from Buzz Aldrin......


07-09-2014, 02:06 AM   #515
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QuoteOriginally posted by ElJamoquio Quote
Not that it really matters, but the smartphones usually cost about $500 -$600, more expensive than entry level dslrs. The smartphones *seem* less expensive though.
True... But even my €1200,- body only flagship DSLR with €800,- lens attached is jealous of some of the photographic features of my €400,- ergonomic disaster of a smartphone.

Example? Why can I hold my smartphone in front of me, press a button, and just swipe my surroundings, while it instantly stitches a 360° panorama on the fly? It can actually save that pano in Flash, so it can be placed on a website as-is. Yes, my expensive camera can do that too, sort of, and not on the fly... Then I need a sturdy tripod, with a special panorama head, an expensive software packages, lots of patience, time and some luck. I know, I made hundreds of those for hotels, resorts, brokers, etc.. With my old K20D and with my K-5. Yes then the end-result has 100x higer IQ, but I'm unable to find much people that really care anymore. My naive mind tells me that more expensive equipment would be able to do this trick a lot better and easier. I don't need even higher IQ, more resolution or bigger format. APS-C was already enough. I need to have this kind of convenience in APS-C format ILC.

Another example: That same phone does a neat trick with it's tiny little sensor. It applies supperresolution without the user even realizing it. It instantly takes multiple images in quick succession. Creating an image with the IQ and format which such a small sensor normally couldn't possibly achieve. Again... I can't do that with my expensive expensive APS-C camera, if I could, I wouldn't have needed/wanted an FF format camera.

Let me put it this way. How do camera manufacturers expect consumers to still justify buying and carrying around a big giant camera with its own acessories and own bag, capturing those high resolution images, while there is no means to display those high IQ images on? I have lots of large prints that actually really show the quality of my pictures, but I have to have those printed two countries to the east. Printed on special materials. And it costs me an arm and a leg. When people enter my house they often stop and stare at such pictures. Taking time to take in the tremendous amount of tiny details. I love them, it's like pixel peeping the entire image at once. I'm the only one that I know of that's crazy enough to do this. So, I don't think all those people lugging around big DSLRs are doing that. And they are slowly all realising that themselves too.


QuoteOriginally posted by Kunzite Quote
Smartphones can never outperform a real, large sensor camera in any aspect related to being a photographic device.
1. See above. They don't outperform cameras in IQ, very true... So what? It's just for Facebook and occasionally printing on cheap canvas anyway.
2. They don't have to beat them if they replace those large sensor cameras through their convenience and lack of requirement for high IQ.



Sorry, it turned into a rant.
[/rant]
07-09-2014, 03:22 AM   #516
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clavius Quote
1. See above. They don't outperform cameras in IQ, very true... So what? It's just for Facebook and occasionally printing on cheap canvas anyway.
2. They don't have to beat them if they replace those large sensor cameras through their convenience and lack of requirement for high IQ.
1. That's what I said (more or less).
But cameras like an eventual Pentax "Full Frame" are not "just for Facebook and occasionally printing on cheap canvas anyway". They're not comparable, never will.
Then, why are we discussing smartphones here?

2. Smartphones replacing large sensor cameras is either advertising, or the "the iPhone is all that you need" syndrome.
They're not. They can't. To replace them they must be (at least) equally capable, but that's physically impossible.

---------- Post added 09-07-14 at 01:24 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by RonHendriks1966 Quote
and then there is the selfie from Buzz Aldrin......
Is there a human in this picture, hidden behind the noise and banding?
07-09-2014, 03:48 AM   #517
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QuoteOriginally posted by Andi Lo Quote
I think our definition of photography is different.

To me if one makes a conscious effort create a pleasing photograph, they are practicing photography. It matters not what the tool is or what controls are available on it. If Ansel Adams decides to use iphone, I am sure he will still produce great photography and not merely snapshots.

Using an art analogy, if I decide to use only a few colors for my painting, as long as I use my tool consciously to elicit a certain response, I am still practising art.
I think it is photography, but not the sort that allows one to "grow." The only thing you can really do with camera phone photos, as far as editing, is stick filters on them with Instagram or, Snapseed or something like that. I have tried to import my iphone photos to lightroom and work on them and it is waste of time. For me, the goal of photography is to be in control of shooting and editing, rather than ceding that control to my camera or a filter program.

But it is understood that most people don't really want to be in control of their camera and its settings. Most people who own an SLR shoot it in green mode with a kit lens of some sort. So, it isn't that much different, except that if at some point, someone with an SLR thinks "I wonder what this Av and Tv on the dial mean," they can learn and start to use more features than their camera phone offers.

I don't think large sensor cameras are going away. People understand the limitations of their camera phone and if they are going to a graduation ceremony, or their kid's soccer game, they are going to pull their SLR out of a dusty drawer and take it a long. But for most every day events, it will stay in that drawer and the camera phone will get a work out.
07-09-2014, 04:30 AM - 1 Like   #518
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Nothing like mobiles to generate impassioned debate. People love their phones.

Put mobiles and full-frame in the same thread, and the discussion could go on forever.

Now all we need to do is add equivalence into the discussion...

07-09-2014, 04:49 AM   #519
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QuoteOriginally posted by rawr Quote
...
Put mobiles and full-frame in the same thread, and the discussion could go on forever.

Now all we need to do is add equivalence into the discussion...
That's good!
07-09-2014, 06:05 AM   #520
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QuoteOriginally posted by rawr Quote
Now all we need to do is add equivalence into the discussion...
Yes... Now that you mention it: ... Neh, I can't do it. Equivalence always makes my head hurt.
07-09-2014, 07:34 AM   #521
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kunzite Quote
1. That's what I said (more or less).
But cameras like an eventual Pentax "Full Frame" are not "just for Facebook and occasionally printing on cheap canvas anyway". They're not comparable, never will.
True again... Nevertheless, that's what the average consumer is using it for anyway. Because, what else can you really actually do with the pictures you take? Start back at the post where someone says he knows a teenage girl that uses a D610 for selfies. That is why FF (and APS-C btw) are not practical in the long run. I'm not joking about this, manufacturers are failing to provide the consumers with something to do with their pictures. Something that actually makes good use of that extra image quality, resolution and bigger format of APS-C and FF sensored cameras.
07-09-2014, 08:22 AM   #522
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QuoteOriginally posted by mee Quote
No where in those official definitions (courtesy of Mirriam Webster) does it state one must print the recorded image onto a physical, non-electronic medium in order for it to be a photograph.
The dictionary is not a viable source of reference for such a complex subject.

I agree with Uluru in that a photograph is not a photograph until it is printed. Why? Because electronic display devices, today, are so varied in their presentation, that what you see may be a far cry from what the photographer (or anyone else) sees. Brightness, contrast, reflectance, color accuracy, color range, image size, pixel dimensions and squareness, and several other factors vary wildly among display devices. What you see is merely an idea - a rough draft. You do not get to see exactly what the creator of the image saw when he or she defined the vision of what they created. You never 'see' the photograph, merely a rough facsimile. When all display devices are calibrated to a photographically uniform standard, then I may change my mind.

QuoteOriginally posted by Andi Lo Quote
To me if one makes a conscious effort create a pleasing photograph, they are practicing photography.
The key word here is 'create'. With a smartphone, you have no control over the creative process. You are not creating, you are capturing. You cannot control the plane of focus, the depth of field, the moodiness that can be expressed through under or over exposure, the compression or expansion of background relationships through judicious use of focal length, the motion-stopping or motion-blurring effects available through shutter speed, the entire world of creative lighting with flash...on and on. Yes, there is some level of creativity available in post processing, but not at the point of capture. Therefore, again, I agree with Uluru. Using a smartphone is not practising photography - it is something very different.
07-09-2014, 08:40 AM   #523
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clavius Quote
True again... Nevertheless, that's what the average consumer is using it for anyway. Because, what else can you really actually do with the pictures you take? Start back at the post where someone says he knows a teenage girl that uses a D610 for selfies. That is why FF (and APS-C btw) are not practical in the long run. I'm not joking about this, manufacturers are failing to provide the consumers with something to do with their pictures. Something that actually makes good use of that extra image quality, resolution and bigger format of APS-C and FF sensored cameras.
Interesting point. Would you mean among other things something like a section on, say, Ricoh's or Nikon's websites which led directly to photobooks, prints on various media, cards, digital photo frames and the like, maybe with in-camera apps which connect directly to them using wifi? They could be made to automatically set an image's jpeg parameters for its intended use/destination before it leaves the camera. Perhaps others are already doing this and I've simply missed it. At present the sites I've looked at are very keen on their galleries but as you say that is only one use and doesn't require a superior camera. Even now maybe Ricoh could have a front-end to something like blurb.com online where the clarity, sharpening/noise and profile parameters of your image are automatically adjusted for you when you upload images for your book/card/magazine - but these settings have been tuned just for your camera and this choice of output by Ricoh's own engineers.

Last edited by mecrox; 07-09-2014 at 08:56 AM.
07-09-2014, 09:58 AM   #524
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QuoteOriginally posted by Andi Lo Quote
To me if one makes a conscious effort create a pleasing photograph, they are practicing photography. It matters not what the tool is or what controls are available on it.
While how one defines photography may be entirely arbitrary, the underlying reality that words are devised to describe isn't. The tool used to make a photograph matters in the sense that some tools are clearly better for the purpose at hand than others. Nor is it merely a question of whether you can make a photograph with a smart phone; it's just that (generally speaking) it is significantly more difficult to do so; and indeed, some of us who are old school find it so difficult and frustrating to make picutres with such gizmos that it is hard for us to credit them as being cameras at all, instead of devices that happen to take pictures. All sorts of devices nowadays can take pictures. My iMac can take pictures, but does that make it a photographic tool, a camera no less? You can also do word processing on a smart phone, yet who would have temerity to call a smart phones word processors? Some people can walk on their hands, but does this mean we should call their hands feet?

QuoteOriginally posted by OregonJim Quote
I agree with Uluru in that a photograph is not a photograph until it is printed. Why? Because electronic display devices, today, are so varied in their presentation, that what you see may be a far cry from what the photographer (or anyone else) sees.
While it's true that images will look different on different devices, they also look different in prints; and getting an image to look just the way I like in print is not always so easy. I can get an image to look just the way I want on my own computer monitor. Getting it to look the way I want it, either on other people's monitors, or in a print, can be hugely challenging and frustrating. Nonetheless, the print does constitute the ultimate form of the photograph. Generally speaking, photographers print only their best work; which suggests they regard the prints as the highest form and ultimate end of their photographic endeavors. The social experience of sharing a print, whether in critique sessions or in galleries, is qualitatively different, and better, than sharing images with faceless strangers on the internet. There's just no substitute for getting reactions from individuals in person, rather than through the screen of anonymity that prevails over the web. If someone asked me how best to improve their photography and I was limited to mentioning just one thing, I would say, print to show to others.
07-09-2014, 11:51 AM   #525
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I end up talking frequently with painters from gallery walks, etc. Its ironic that with painting, one starts with a clean sheet of media and a brush or pencil, and then creates from that. Before spending hours in completing a painting, the artists knows what his intent is before he starts out.

Yet we photographers, grouse if we have to do the focusing manually, or if, God forbid, our AF takes more than 0.1 sec to complete the focusing process. We have such amazing tools today to create pictures with, and yet are so bombarded with consumer ads that we feel deprived if we dont' have a wifi connection or some such feature. Makes me feel less of an artist - frankly - to do as much purchasing as i do. Then we snap pictures with out automated cameras, with so little thought, that we end up with thousands of pretty much worthless pictures.

As to what to do with photography, there are any number of non-profits like animal shelters, live theaters, habitat for humanity stores, etc. that would love photographic help for their websites, etc. But one often has to be open to occasionally doing more than just taking the pictures. Look around - there are lots of useful applications for your photographic talent. For 5 years now, i've been doing headshots, theater pictures for local newspapers, photoshopping for posters, dress rehearsal pics, selecting pictures for and decorating the lobby with those pics. Actually, this non-profit work has forced me to get better at photography and acquire skills i wouldn't normally develop on my own. It helps a lot to be retired as the calls for help can come at odd hours and times.

I've encouraged theater staff to use their own smart phone pics, compact PS, slrs or whatever they have in completing their organizational task, because, frankly, i get burned out at times. Yet the last time i attempted to use a smart phone picture for an 8x10 pic, it didn't produce acceptable results. And low light scenes easily defeat smaller sensors.

Last edited by philbaum; 07-09-2014 at 12:12 PM.
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