When most people think of iPhone photography, I think they see this sort of image:
Just a very straight forward, easy to expose, snapshot. I'm here to tell you, there is so much more to iPhoneography. For starters, let's go macro:
Macro is a limitation I hear often when it comes to the iPhone. I'm not sure where the myth of this limitation started. Without any extra lenses, I'm able to get almost any macro I have ever wanted. I have troubles on a windy day and occasional issues focusing on something. I encounter issues less than 10 percent of the time. 90 percent of the time, when I see a macro I want, I go in, get close, touch the object to focus and create beautiful, evenly exposed, detailed macros.
Now how about indoor and complicated lighting situations?
The FANTASTIC thing about an iPhone is its touch to expose capability. No other camera does this. This makes the iPhone uniquely capable of exposing a shot properly. This feature even beats out DSLRs. Because of the live view and touch to focus, it means bracketing is immediate. Do you want dark shadows? Touch the sky or lightest part of the photo. Do you want blown out highlights? Touch the ground or darkest part of the photo. Somewhere in between? Touch somewhere in between. For portraits, I'm always exposing for the skin. For landscapes, I'm always exposing for the sky. I pull out the shadows or bring down the highlights in Instagram, my only photo editing tool. (VSCO actually sucks for true editing.) Sometimes, I use a warming filter because it brings up the shadows. The iPhone is the most versatile point and shoot, period. There is no other camera that compares. I LOVE this about the iPhone because I can shoot anything I want, anywhere I want.
I would say those are the two most complained about features, and my biggest pet peeves. But let's move onto portraiture. SO MANY BLOGGERS think the only way to a good portrait is through a DSLR. WRONG! Wrong times a million!
AHHHHH! I love my iPhone for portraiture! Look at those eyes! Look at that chihuahua! Do you know how hard it is to get such beautiful, glowy eyes AND detail in BLACK HAIR? So hard! On a DSLR it's hard. But my gorgeous touch-to-expose feature of my iPhone, and my immense talent, make it so easy! I mean, the actual hard part is getting something alive to sit still. So much easier with humans, of course. I really, really love this camera for portraits, ESPECIALLY when I'm just out and about...
I use that self-timer ALL THE TIME...and I create really interesting portraits! How? Well, partly touch-to-expose, and partly my own ideas about composition. I never carry a tripod, and I have an Otter case on my phone, so it stands up well. I just get real creative and this phone allows me to be creative. My limitations in this area are really only about my own creativity.
What about mood?
When it comes to creating mood, in particular as it might involve humans (I had to cut SOME photos from this, so some of my moody landscapes were cut), the iPhone is pretty perfect because it's so tiny. It shoots quickly and quietly. It's deceptive. I can pretend I'm checking something and just pop up and grab a photo. I can swipe up from the lock screen to access my camera first and foremost. It wakes up faster than any camera I've ever had, excluding a film camera. It's really quick and can shoot on burst to capture everything happening in a moment. It's so small (not the big, stupid 6) and easy to use, so I can quickly create a photojournalistic photo that captures mood exactly as I want.
And then there's food photography...
My biggest pet peeve, when it comes to bloggers talking about photos, is food photography. I once read a set up including a reflecting screen! I recently read a boyfriend's "complaint" that you can't eat your food 'til it's cold when you're with a blogger. BULLSHIT! There is no need to do anything other than clear distracting elements from the table...and even then, sometimes the elements just set the tone of the picture. It's so easy, touch to expose, click, done. There is no need to sit near a window, to wait until daylight, to bring in a fucking reflector. My iPhone is so perfect for food photography and Adam only ever has to wait a minute, tops.
What are the actual limitations to the iPhone?
Wildlife photography is just never going to be easy. For that matter, neither is sport or dance photography. Now, my camera has this burst function I haven't fully played with, HOWEVER, wildlife and sport/dance photography have ALWAYS been highly specialized and required very specific lenses and equipment, like fancy tripods or monopods that stabilize everything. There are telephoto lenses available for iPhones, and that could definitely take a wildlife photographer into heaven. I'm not interested in that. I'd have to remove my Otter case and I don't wanna. I have had some success with dance photography, given the right lighting conditions, but I haven't experimented with sport. I should probably go out with the burst function and do some action stuff just to prove myself wrong! But as of now, I'd say those are limitations of the iPhone.
As you can see, the iPhone is a FANTASTIC camera and bitches should stop complaining or making really annoying comments about "I just have my iPhone, sorry." Umm...this shit is great. It's high resolution and can be printed up to poster size. It's great in all lighting situations and I rarely encounter something I can't photograph with my iPhone. This is my fave camera, and I take it with me everywhere. EVERYWHERE.
And, of course, it's still great for those arms-out selfies!