Muizenberg Beach shot with the iPhone © Jurgen Banda-Hansmann 2012

I went walking along Muizenberg Beach yesterday. Two cameras accompanied me, the Mamiya C220 (fully mechanical medium film format camera) and my iPhone. While the exposed film of the Mamiya is still laying on my desk, the pictures I took with the iPhone are all processed. This picture, in particular is my favorite of the day (click on it to view it larger).

The iPhone is my daily companion and often enough replaces a “proper” camera as I either don’t have another camera with me or it is simply more convenient to use the iPhone. The iPhone has a few advantages over a normal camera. After I took the image, I can follow very customized routes of editing and retouching my images via various apps. Sharing them to Facebook, Twitter and even the blog are very easy and convenient.

My cameras, especially when they are fully mechanic, don’t offer me this convenience.

The camera in the iPhone is not spectacular, but is a constant reminder that the camera is only part of the process in creating an image.  The most important part of the image creation happens in my head, when I pre-visualize the finished image. I knew, when I photographed this landscape that I would process as b/w image with fairly high contrast.

I find it amazing on how fast, I can create the image I had in my mind with the tools the iPhone apps offer me. Of course, I could get a technically much better image with a large format film camera or medium format digital camera. The spontaneity and lightness would be missing though.

The iPhone changed on how I view photography. The simple fact of having a camera with me most of the time now can create a challenge in itself. I know the limitations of the camera and often do photograph with the camera as if it would be a full blown DSLR. Funny enough, many times the result surprise me and I was glad to take the shot.

It encourages me to focus in my regular work and to keep things simple.

Less is more.

It might be time to create a workshop on iPone photography. Watch the space.

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