Enter the mobile darkroom
Let’s talk about photography. The mobile one. You know, the one you make with the camera you have in your pocket. We start with a quote and then go explore a pure fictional story that try to explain my view on mobile photography.
The Best Camera is the One You Have With You
It’s late in the afternoon and you are walking home from work. Just as you enter the park to enjoy a bit of fresh air away from the noisy street, you see an orangutan riding a bicycle!
The first thing you do (after rubbing your eyes once more, just to be sure), is to took your mobile phone from your pocket as there is no way anyone will ever believe you if you don’t snap a photo of him riding away…
So it must be true! “The Best Camera is the One You Have With You“. You made the photo – or you didn’t. Simple!
You instantly share it with the world. In just a few seconds from when the impossible happened, to world viral photo in just a few clicks. You did not have time to adjust the exposure, to compensate for the backlight or correct the white balance from all those green leafs in the photo. You simply snapped it with your best(only) camera you have with you at the moment. You are happy with the snap as long as is not so blurred that the orangutan can actually be just a hairy short man going for a ride. End of part one.
Now that you are sure that an orangutan can ride a bicycle you want to make it your way! Taking the same subject as the other few billions of people that passed by it is not very creative. But you love photography! You think just a bit “outside the box“… a little lower angle, low key, desaturated film look, wide lens, shallow depth of field… anything that makes it yours.
A week later, exhausted from the phone calls with the local Zoo not understanding why you need an orangutan that loves motocross bikes… You end with something like this:
The difference between the first one and this one?
To put is as simple as possible, we can say you snapped the first one, and you made the second. (Yes, yes! I know it’s photoshopped, but you are missing the point)
So the little difference is in the way you approach the subject, think about all the aspects of what makes a photograph (composition, light, emotions). This is what makes the difference.
The equipment you have is just a tool. And sometimes you don’t need the mega $$$ investment in the brand new Nikon D850 with the 85mm f/1.4 lens. Canon 5D or that sweet mirrorless Sony A7m3 camera(well I sure want to try this one). Just think about what you want to achieve, what emotions you want to express. One simple way to do this is to try the 1% rule.
The 1% rule is simple: improve just 1% each day.
If you want to improve your skills… learn something new with every photo you ever made.
Here are some of my photos made with the now 3 year old LG v20 mobile phone. Edited on phone with the Snapseed app. Hope you like some of them…