It’s a new year, so let’s kick it off with some smartphone camera fun.
Let’s be honest; smartphone photography started as a bit of gimmick. It was fun to think you could create a photograph with a tiny, pocket-sized device. Since then, smartphone photography has become big business, and many photographers are advocates for doing the core of their work on a mobile device. But, we don’t want to get too lost in all the seriousness that comes with the creative world. We want to go back to having a little bit of fun while checking out some cool photography. So we’re going to play a game. Are you ready?
The game does not require much mental energy: it’s a simple guess strategy. Below, we’re going to present some images that were shot on a smartphone camera, and you just need to decide the brand and model. To make it fair, the three models used for the creation of the below images are the iPhone 11 Pro, Samsung Galaxy Note 10+, and the Google Pixel 4. Let’s play! (Answers are at the bottom. No cheating!)
Washington, DC photographer, Danish Baig, likes to use a Nikon. But, he also likes to use a smartphone for impromptu photographs. This photograph has a lovely sense of depth and the reflection gives it a pleasing feel. It’s a nice edit too: not overdone, but still enough color and contrast to give it more life than it may have initially had.
Iwakura Shiori is a photographer based in Japan. She has amassed a huge following because of her sharp eye for beautiful, minimal moments. More often than not, Shiori is creating her work with a 35mm Contax camera. But some scenes cannot wait for the manual practices that come with shooting film. That’s when she turns to her trusted smartphone device, like with the image seen above. Smartphone or not, Shiori is still able to keep her aesthetic consistent, and her digital device doesn’t let her down.
When the smartphone camera was first introduced to the world, nobody had high expectations. Even more so, nobody in their right mind would see it as a viable option when shooting in low light situations. Today, that is certainly not the case. As highlighted here by Matt Gonzalez, smartphones can not only perform in low light, they can perform exceptionally well. Gonzalez, a tech and photography enthusiast, took his camera to Joshua Tree, California, and the results are impressive. The rich detail in the stars, and the lack of overpowering grain, shows smartphone technology is ready to rival the rest of the camera world.
A genre in which the smartphone camera has really excelled is street photography. Because of its lightweight, compact build, the smartphone is perfect for roaming the streets for hours on end while documenting what’s going on in the real world. James Hausley is using his smartphone to get creative when making street snaps. In this mini-series, he has opted to use motion blur to give his work a little edge. It’s not clean, but we like that. And for his creative efforts and final product, we think he’s doing great work.
Anvar Sadath is a portrait photographer working out of India. He shoots most of his work on high-end cameras, which makes sense as he is delivering to a client. However, he likes to show that his smartphone camera can still produce pro-level images. This photo, which to the untrained eye may seem like it was shot on DSLR and Mirrorless, is one of those examples. Let’s be honest; it looks glorious!
You’ve seen Brett Day before. He’s our Gear Editor who often gets to play with the latest gear while putting it to the test. As well as testing DSLR’s and Mirrorless cameras, on occasion Brett gets to play with smartphone cameras. He described the camera he shot this image with as “pretty capable” when put on a tripod and used for long exposures. He’s not wrong; the camera helped create a colorful, creative photograph that shows the strength of the smartphone he was using.
Which Smartphone Camera?
We hope you have had some fun with this piece, or at the very least, enjoyed some cool photography. The smartphone camera is only going to get better this decade. We’re excited about what the future holds!
What smartphone is in your hand? Let us know in the comments below.
Answers: 1. iPhone 11 Pro, 2. Samsung Galaxy Note 10+, 3. Google Pixel 4, 4. iPhone 11 Pro, 5. Google Pixel 4, 6. Samsung Galaxy Note 10+
Images are screenshots from the photographer’s Instagram feed.