“The best camera is the one that’s with you.” – Chase Jarvis
With apps like Instagram, CameraFX and even Photoshop Express one does have a large variety of tools of the trade to chose from to be creative. I’ve got a common job like every other common, working person that does not leave me enough room to carry my SLRs with me to wherever I want. I also do not have the chance to process my pictures in Lightroom each and every time I want to. So I took the quote by Chase Jarvis and made it my personal challenge. My phone is my buddy that’s with me all the time and it’s the device that captures pictures when I’m without my beloved SLRs.
Of course, I’m limited to a file format like JPEG that does me the opportunities like RAW does. I barely have any option to do any preprocessing like choosing the aperture or the exposure. And the quality itself cannot be compared to the results you would receive with a professional SLR processor and sensor. But these things do not actually matter, what matters is the composition.
One of my weaknesses in photography is an exaggerated focus on technical details and in reverse I often fail on the rules of composition. The phone camera gives me a fine chance to take pictures pretty basic. As previously mentioned, the quality does not matter. With a picture that may deserve it, I can also wait till I’m home and edit it in Photoshop to get it top notch.
I hated Instagram for quite a long time, because it’s yet another app with filters and effects. After a period of giving it a try, I finally came to the conclusion that it’s a good way to process pictures quickly and easy. And you’ve also got a good way to share them with your friends or publicly. One might say, one can do this with almost every other app as well, but I finally felt comfortable with the Instagram community and I don’t like to share every sodding picture on Facebook. The opinion of a complete, unprejudiced strangers counts more to me, than an opinion of a friend on Facebook.
I’m not going to post these mobile pictures in communities like deviantART or 500px. I still believe that these platforms were made to display artworks with a high standard and even (semi) professional artworks. Even though they do look “pretty fine” I still believe that these mobile phone camera pictures do not belong there. Additionally, there are billions of people out there that share pictures like these on almost every common social network, there’s nothing special about them in a hobbyist way. You don’t need any more of them spread out.
So for me it’s a good way to improve my composition skills and learn. With Instagram I’m also limited to square format. Which makes it easier on one side, but also difficult on the other side. I do not only use Instagram, CameraFX is another great app as well and even Photoshop Express does the trick. If you’re interested in my pictures, search and follow ‘InV4d3r’ on Instagram.