I was asked recently, by another member of the Eastbourne Photographic Society Camera Club, whether I used my iPhone to take photographs. When I replied that I did not, I received the surprised reply, “oh, but why not?”.
My reply was not strictly true: I do take photographs on my iPhone. In fact, a quick check has revealed I have well in excess of 1,000 photographs on my iPhone currently. However, I view my iPhone photographs more as a visual diary than as ‘proper’ photographs, a term reserved by me for photographs I take using my Canon DSLR camera.
I assumed, of course, that my fellow club member would be asking about ‘proper’ photographs, but their reaction to my reply got me thinking: Are my iPhone photographs worthy of more recognition than just as a ‘photo-diary’?
Looking through some of the photographs I had taken, I realised that some of my favourites are actually landscape photographs taken with the iPhone. After all, the art in photography is not about the equipment you use, but the visual pleasure the viewer experiences when looking at the image you have produced.
This, for example, was taken during one of my frequent runs across the South Downs National Park; taken at Butcher’s Hole in Friston Forest looking back across the village of Jevington towards Butts Brow at Willingdon.
This rather more unusual photograph of my dog Wilson holding on tightly to his new ‘Dog Hearts’ toy is another of my recent favourites; it sums up how I feel about dogs in general… big hearts, large paws!
This image of a stile at Butts Brow and the houses in Willingdon in the distance was taken on another run on the South Downs National Park.
Of course, the main use of iPhone for taking photographs, other than for self-portraits, or ‘selfies’, is to photograph what we are eating! I am no exception, particularly when the food is as pretty as afternoon tea at Badgers Tearoom in Alfriston.
So, although the iPhone is a wonderful tool to use as a diary of the experiences I have on a daily basis, perhaps I should be taking it a bit more seriously and think about sharing these photographs more. They may not please the techno-geeks or photography purists, but are they really the people looking at and, hopefully, enjoying my art anyway?
I suspect not.