“The best camera still is – and always will be – the one that’s with you” and for many people this will be a camera phone. This idea was originally put forth by Chase Jarvis, professional photographer and author of “The Best Camera“.
I recently spent a whirlwind week exploring New Zealand’s lower South Island via Dunedin courtesy of Tourism New Zealand and Canon who supplied $30,000 of loaned photography gear for our photo/video shoot crew to use.
Ironically one of my favourite photos from the trip was the very 1st photo I took with a Nokia 6710s Navigator cameraphone on impulse while sitting in the passenger seat of a car because I noticed the unusual electric blue lighting in the clouds worked well with the dark curving landscape ahead. If you look carefully at the original large version of the photo you’ll notice 2 cyclists riding on the road about to go around the corner.
It was great that in the car boot we had a range of Canon SLR’s including 7D’s, 5D Mark II and a 550D which are all capable of taking great photos but obviously because of their size and weight none of them were in my pocket for the whole trip as the Nokia cameraphone was and couldn’t be used with 1 seconds notice to grab a quick photo before the moment was gone.
You may have been told by a photographer friend that camera phones can’t take good photos, ignore them.
Mobile Phones as cheap as $100 have built-in cameras these days which means that taking photos has become completely democratised, even a homeless person living on the streets owns a mobile phone and could take a series of photos documenting their lives and upload them to a free Flickr account.
If you keep the lens clean and set good default settings on the phone (highest quality level, flash off, auto white balance, auto focus) to help the phone take impulse photos faster I’m sure you can keep an eye out for interesting visual effects in the world around you and capture great photos with your camera phone on days when your compact camera or SLR is left at home.
Examples of Creative Photos Taken By A Camera Phone
Chase Jarvis, professional photographer & author of “The Best Camera” book
DISCLAIMER: All expenses for my NZ trip were covered by Tourism New Zealand and regional subsidiaries. I was not paid for the trip and have sole control over what I write and say about it. The Nokia 6710s was in my pocket by coincidence on media loan from Nokia Australia because I often review smartphones/cameraphones.