You Suck and So Do your Photos

It’s a popular debate - smart phone vs. professional equipment- bystander with an iPhone versus paid media.

There is no debate.

There is no question that a professional grade camera has the capacity to take a better photo than any smartphone. A professional grade camera is more reliable, and designed for the specific purpose of taking pictures. Phones are easier to transport, more readily available and more flexible when photographing tricky spots. They both have their own unique functions, but there is no debate in quality.

SLR cameras will outperform the phone 10/10.

Image resolution, megapixels and detail do not always matter.

Invest in a nice camera, I highly recommend it. Not because it will take better pictures, but because it will help you learn how to be a better photographer.

But don’t discredit the phone.

There is no debate here because good photography is good photography. Your smartphone might not have the same capacity as an SLR, but it can still take high quality photos.

Photography is a matter of function, and in a world where most visuals live virtually, there is a baseline for “high quality” in the virtual world that is easily obtainable by both phones and cameras.

There are professionals that stand by mobile photography as a means for “real” professional journalism.

Take it from National Geographic photographer and skilled iPhone photographer, Michael Christopher Brown- the phone is a powerful tool.

Eliminate the equipment and assess the situation, how much do you know about photography? This question is where good photography and bad photography divide. Does the person that is holding the equipment know what they are doing?

In my opinion- learn first with your phone, understand composition, study lighting, use the rule of thirds, get a feel for colors, and then move over to a camera.

Just because someone has a camera doesn’t mean they take good pictures and just because someone only uses a phone doesn’t mean they take bad pictures. They both are effective in telling stories- it’s a matter of understanding how to best use the equipment.

As a learning photographer, I have found myself flipping back and forth between the phone and the camera. There’s something to learn from both. The camera is good for understanding how a photograph comes to be- ISO, shutter speed, aperture and white balance. The phone is good for framing, and understanding what ideal settings are.

If you’re a photographer who switches between the two, I recommend looking at the “info” on the phone photos that you think turned out well, that way you can recreate similar settings for similar shots with the camera.

All of the above photos taken with an iPhone 5.

There is no debate.

An SLR camera will take high resolution photos, but it comes down to the person holding the camera.

Don’t be afraid to learn how to use the camera you carry around in your pocket every day, it will make both you and your photos suck less.

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