Shooting photography on your phone; the biggest disruption possible in photography:
- Faster process (easier to shoot, easier to process photos, easier to share online).
- No lost opportunities: Phone always in your front pocket. Consider all the new photo opportunities waiting for you!
- Super low cost: You can buy a Xiaomi 9 SE phone for only $350 with phenomenal image quality (cheaper even than $550 RICOH GR II, and it is also an internet device). Practically no cost of shooting photos or storage (storing your photos on the cloud via Dropbox or Google Photos).
To be frank at this point, I don’t see any real good reason to own a “standalone digital camera” unless you’re a wedding or shoot commercial photos for a living. Perhaps the only other interesting standalone camera is shooting with a film camera (totally different aesthetic and process from shooting digital), or for supreme image quality (digital medium format).
Great tools available to the masses
Which is fascinating to me because at this point, photography is totally disrupted with super cheap and super powerful phones. You can get super phenomenal photos from a used or refurbished Google Pixel, from Xiaomi phones, or Huawei phones.
So which leaves us to wonder:
Now that the tools are cheap, easily accessible, and democratic, and assuming we don’t “need” better cameras– what do we direct our energy towards as photographers?
It seems the solution is to make photos that are personally meaningful to us, to make photos with strong and dynamic compositions, to pursue photo projects that have depth to us, and to create images we consider beautiful in our eyes.
How to improve our photography
Simple ways to improve our photography:
- Shoot everyday (easiest to use a phone)
- Select and process our photos everyday and share them to our blog/website
- Get feedback and constructive critique from other photographers (upload them to arsbeta.com)
- To judge your own photos and to ask yourself: “Do my photos look beautiful to me in my own eyes?”
What not to get distracted with?
I’m addicted and endlessly fascinated with innovation. Disruption is one of those interesting notions:
Disruption as providing more with less; upsetting the normal order of things.
For example right now, the average “standalone digital camera” ranges in the $1,000+ category. Additional lenses usually cost $300 and much upwards.
The average passionate photographer will probably drop between $2000-5000 (or even more) money on their camera equipment in their lifetimes. But when you can provide all those thousands of dollars of value in less than $400 bucks, what is the significance of this?
Well, my thought is in the next decade or so, we will start seeing a lot of camera companies die off, or become consolidated into different brands. I really don’t see a future market for DSLR cameras; only more and more powerful phone cameras. And of course the luxury/high-end photography will thrive because people will want to differentiate themselves with more exotic tools (I predict Leica camera will continue to thrive and grow in the dying camera market). Furthermore digital medium format has a bright future, because photographers will always want bigger camera sensors (perhaps we will see large format digital sensors in our lifetime too).
Nowadays I don’t see too much of an image quality difference between APS-C crop DSLR sensors or full-frame. But digital medium format is a different beast, like the Pentax 645z. Even from small thumbnails, the photos pop and standout:
Brave new world of photography
We truly are in a brave new world of photography, with all of these epic and disruptive technologies.
My question for you is this:
Do you plan to be a trailblazer, rogue, misfit, innovator, explorer, conquerer, and rebel, or do you plan on just following the herd?
Seize the future!