I have been the proud owner of an iPhone for almost 6 months. And it’s become like an appendage for me. I use the phone daily, although I rarely actually call anyone on it. It’s a gaming device, a way to access Facebook and Twitter, an email tool, and a GPS when I can’t figure out where I’m going. But perhaps most of all, it’s my camera.
I have a proper camera. It’s not fancy, but it takes pretty good photos and it can shoot HD video, too. And yet the reality is that I don’t have my camera directly on my person all that often. It’s usually in my desk drawer or tucked into my diaper bag. I don’t necessarily bring it along on every walk, and sometimes by the time I manage to pull it out the moment I wanted to capture has passed. And this is where my phone, which is always readily at hand, comes in.
My love affair with my phone’s camera started when I downloaded the Hipstamatic app. I liked the idea of shaking my phone, getting a random combination of photo settings, and snapping away. The shots weren’t all winners, but enough were. Plus, the imperfection was kind of the point. I wasn’t spending a long time getting the best possible framing and then editing in Photoshop. I was snap-snap-snapping away, getting an old-school low-fi look, and loving it.
Then I read something online about taking great photos with your phone. I wish I remembered where, because I would totally link to it, but I don’t. Anyways, the gist was that the Camera+ app for the iPhone is really pretty cool. Somewhat serendipitously, I happened to have an iTunes gift card, so I downloaded it. It has all the old-school feel of Hipstamatic, but instead of choosing your settings before you shoot, you apply them afterward. You shoot and edit right on your phone. I crop, adjust the light levels, apply a filter and choose a frame, and I’m done. I get consistently better shots, but they still have that low-fi look to them. I’ve fallen in love with my phone’s camera all over again.
There are a lot of things that aren’t so great about having your phone with you all the time. Like the pesky business of always being connected. It’s not always easy to separate work and play when you can check your email from the local playground. But I love that as long as I have it, I can capture the little moments of our lives right as they happen. That part is pretty freaking cool.
There are a lot of pros and cons to having a smart phone. I know that I waste a lot of time with mine, for sure. But I also know that one day, I’m going to be glad to have the photos I shot with it.
What about you? Do you have a camera phone? Do you find that it’s easier to use that for photos than an actual camera? I’d love to hear your thoughts!