A recent contest for mobile phone photos made me think about the old discussion about photo gear. ”What camera do you use?” is a question I get pretty often; it seems that many people still think that great equipment equals good photographs.  While it is true that a DSLR camera does have more ”horsepower” than a mobile phone, a good camera does not a photographer make. As Thoreau reminds us, what’s important is not what you look at but what you see.

I have chosen three photographs here, all taken with an iPhone, where the difference is made by ”seeing” the potential of what’s right in front of you, not by having a good camera.


1) The image above was taken with an iPhone 6 Plus in a Nespresso shop while my husband and I were waiting for our turn to be served. It’s a lamp in the shop that nobody paid any attention to. My husband was mystified as to what exactly I was shooting; he couldn’t ”see” what that lamp could become. The only processing done on the iPhone image was converting it to black and white using the Snapseed app and then doing some slight editing such as highlights and contrast. And voilà, you now have a great black and white abstract photograph instead of an ordinary lamp in a shop.

2) This one was taken with an iPhone 7 Plus and depicts the roof of the Menara airport in Marrakesh. Again, minimal editing, the same as above, converting to B&W in Snapseed.

This is how the actual roof looked like. 

For more context, a quick shot of the airport (mobile phone photo).

3) And this a photo of a skyscraper in Tokyo, taken with an iPhone 6 Plus, and converted to black and white in Snapseed. The composition would have been helped if taken in portrait mode, but you get the point.


As you can see in these examples, there’s more to good photography than the photo gear. You need to train your eye to really “see” beyond the ordinary. As always, practice makes perfect.

I’ll post some more phone photos in a future post, and you’ll see that you don’t need an expensive camera to take good photographs. Use the camera you have and learn to see, really see; that’ll get you far.


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