On why I shouldn’t feel guilty about utilizing my smartphone camera.

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For anybody that uses analog, or for that matter, a professional DSLR…..there can be a bit of inner turmoil when it comes to using the camera on your smartphone to capture photos. It feels like cheating, especially due to the amount of work that I put in as an analog photographer. Even moreso when it comes to using filters. For a long time I made fun of phone cameras for being selfie machines, for being useless in the world of photography, and for spreading the word ‘photography’ far too thin between people like myself vs. a twelve year old intsagramer.

But that’s pretentious, isn’t it? It’s selfish. And how could I, as the new owner of a smartphone, justify my use of the phone’s camera against anyone else’s? Simple: I cannot. But how can I then justify my use at all, being a film photographer? I feel guilty using photoshop to tweak my contrasts, even guiltier just scanning photos from negatives onto my computer. Then a phone camera should be off the table, against my principles, right?

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These pictures are so pretty, how could I resist? Both shots came from my Galaxy S4.

My fiancé and I took our cameras out to the breakers yesterday, and I shot a full roll of poly-pan. What I was shooting on that roll made me realize that when I shoot film, I’m not shooting for a memory, or for a nice picture to show my family. I’m shooting as an art form. But I found myself wanting remnants of the moment that we were out shooting together; it was beautiful outside and I wanted to show my parents the pier we were on. Queue the smartphone.

I was hiding it at first. I’d sneak a shot so my fiancé couldn’t see me using a phone camera whilst a beautiful piece of analog machinery hung around my neck. But then he started doing it too. And I realized then that I wasn’t being distracted from what I wanted to do with my film, and that recording our visit was rewarding, and will be in our future. The fact is, professional photographers should have no qualms about new technology. Remember, it isn’t here to replace your principles. It’s there to give you the option, if you so please, to experience the less serious side of what we do.

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3 responses to “On why I shouldn’t feel guilty about utilizing my smartphone camera.

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