Paul Sturgess

The Best Camera Is The One That's With You

I’m not sure who said it first but I definitely agree. My problem is that I’ve never really got on with point and shoot cameras and have been known to regularly inconvenience myself by lugging around my digital SLR camera and a couple of lenses when out and about.

The funny thing is that I also subscribe to the idea that the camera doesn’t matter, it’s composition, the lighting and the imagination of the photographer that make the difference. I guess I’m just a sucker for short depth of fields, wide angles and hi-res raw digital files.

The iPhone camera and the resulting spate of fake Holga photo effect applications in the app store has certainly peaked my interest but nothing has really gripped me thus far. I own a medium format Holga and while it is both expensive and a hassle to get the film printed, there is something magic about its primitive nature that can’t be replicated. I love that you only get 12 photos per film roll because it makes you think before you snap.

But maybe this is just it. The iPhone is not the Holga and I shouldn’t be comparing the two.

There has been a lot of buzz around the Interweb about a new photo sharing social network called Instagr.am. Basically it’s Twitter for photos. Nothing mind-blowing, but the execution is superb and it’s actually quite addictive. It is also unusual in that you can’t actually browse any photos via the website, the entire ‘social’ experience is via the iPhone app.

Now I don’t know if they just haven’t got around to building the web app yet but I actually think it’s a great idea not to have one. This is probably a strange thing for a web developer to say but when you think about it, the iPhone is where the iPhone photos make sense. They look amazing on the little hi-res screen, especially with the blemishes masked behind a blurry Holga-esque filter. Sure you can fire-hose your photos around the net via Flickr, Facebook and even Twitter itself, but it’ll only be a link to that one photo and that’s it. If you want more you need the app on your phone.

There’s definitely something to be said for embracing the iPhone camera. You can’t use a Holga to upload an instant glimpse into your life and even if you could, it probably wouldn’t matter because this kind of photography only works if you actually have the camera with you.

Tags: photography, iphone, camera, instagram

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