mobile photography technology, culture and community

Mobile photographers capture do and don't moments

EyeEm X Vice Do by Carla D on EyeEm

Photo-sharing social platform EyeEm partnered with Vice Magazine to sponsor a photo contest. The competition asked "What are the Dos and Don’ts in life?" EyeEm users answered with a wide range of interesting photos. The winners reflected Vice's signature gritty aesthetic and presented a honest, and sometimes funny, moment in time.

Here are some of our favorites. Check out all the winners on EyeEm's blog.

EyeEm X Vice Do at Chain Hardware by (Connect's own) Misho Baranovic on EyeEm 
EyeEm X Vice Don’t at Neukölln Arcaden by Alan Don Jones on EyeEm
EyeEm X Vice Do by Pablo on EyeEm
EyeEm X Vice Do at los angeles by Carina Lue on EyeEm
 EyeEm X Vice Do in A Coruña by Pablo on EyeEm


Total comments: 32

These are awesome scenes, subjects and personal perspectives.

These may be something to pause-and-look, even appreciate.

These are NOT good photography.

People (especially "Connect" for whom, understandably, theres' no turning back) seem to continuously fail to see that what is happening with the interesting photographs they select to make public is that the only statement they put forward is they are noteworthy IN SPITE of having been taken with a mobile device.

I now officially declare my proposed motto for noteworthy mobile photography:

"Think what these could have been if an actual dedicated camera was used".

1 upvote

Point taken, but my smart phone I tend to have with me more often than a camera - and one is less likely to be told not to use it.


I'm happy that VICE liked my silly dog photo for their tongue in cheek contest. I must say all this out of context, bile-filled trolling is almost as enjoyable as the awesome VICE prize pack.

1 upvote

It's bile filled opinion, not trolling. Calling it trolling is a coping mechanism that people try to use to deflate the facts so that they don't feel so bad about the truth.


I think we have different interpretations of the truth FrankieJ.


Most likely. I do like your pic but I cannot say that it's a photo contest winner by normal art photo definitions. I'm glad you have found success in your niche.


Enlighten us please professor Frankiej on what is the 'normal art photo definition'? And have you ever produced one?


1st shot is fantastic.

2cnd dog shot has great potential but needs some good post work on it. atm everything just sinks into the background.

3rd shot, interesting subjects but poor/lazy composition and soft.

4th beach shot, just great except it's really soft. Really unfortunate since that's a spectacular viewpoint.

5th, a bit indifferent to it but the post is good.

6th, has potential. subjects are interesting but really composition is neither here nor there. A recomposition in a photo editor could potentially do wonders for it. Unfortunaetly focus seems off or just really soft.

Generally, I enjoyed viewing them.

1 upvote

1st shot fantastic??
How comes - photographically speaking.?

Sure the guy doing the pole is pretty skilled....

but the photo - especially considering it was "posed" (so the "photographer" had time to prepare) is rather "bad". exposure is off, details are lacking (you can't even properly recognize the guys face). the cropping / framing could be MUCH improved... so could angle of view.....
there's no background separation, making it look very flat.
and it's hardly "original".

5th photo (snake & boy):
Good PP? really? you call that smudgy fake background blurring good pp?

Edited 3 minutes after posting
1 upvote

1st photo based on that picture alone. Perhaps if I could see the high res shot I'd change my mind but from what I can see, contrast is good, there's detail and definition and particularly, the sky isn't a blown out mess. The noise is a little rough but all things considered, I do think it's pretty good.

The snake boy, the post isn't what's blurring the details; that's just the poor phone camera. I like the post because it's appropriate & consistent across the frame. I can't really say I a high contrast, high saturation look would go well with a scene like that.

One of my main gripes on these comments sections is nearly always about not being able to see them in higher res. It makes it really difficult to say whether it really is good or not. SOMETIMES they do provide a larger picture and I have changed my mind after clicking thru before.

1 upvote


the 1st shot is actually quite the opposite of what you claim: contrast is by far too harsh - whilst there are no "blown highlights" there are certainly lost shadow details (especially on his face).
The heavy noise-reduction / noise handling gives it the rest.
Crop & composition is by far at most mediocre.

But Snake-Boy:
Sorry, the Background has been ARTIFICIALLY BLURRED. No mobile phone will give you that with just a few meters of distance from the background - also it looks like it's been done in a very crappy manor:
It's basically an oval-shaped "selection" (like with fake vignetting) that has been blurred. If you look at it you can see the transition easily.
combined with the "washed pseude retro look" - it's just awful.
Would have been a good shot - but the Post just really ruins it.

1 upvote

lol at the people bashing these photos just because they're taken on a phone. We get it. You're jealous people with a phone can take better photos than you can with 3000 dollars worth of DSLR gear. Honestly photography is NOT about gear. Get over it.


Well said. And I've got an expensive camera. The more you worry about gear the less time you are spending mastering the gear you've got and a phone with its decent image quality and speed of use makes for good street photography, which I've never been good at.


That's where you are mistaken - and running with it. I dislike these photos AND they were shot on a mobile phone, not BECAUSE they were shot on a mobile phone. I would dislike these pix if they were shot with a Leaf back. They are literally just Snaps. None of them transcending into visual poetry at all.

3 upvotes doubt.



Its frankly amazing that the only "reply" to criticism iPhone-hipsters have is "you're jealous..."... it's getting a tad old.

The thing with the pictures above is simply this:
they aren't especially noteworthy at any rate.
the first one (flag-man) - his facial features are barely recognizable (and I'm not pixel peeping) - it's under exposed, composition is "so-so".
Most other cameras (even cheaper P&S) would have most likely given you more detail.

The dog is funny - it's a candid shot, but photographically speaking nothing that's sparking any big interest. Classic snapshot.

The couple with the "outfit" - "washed out retro looking colors that look FAKE". not really sharp either.
Composition is "Ok"... background separation: non-existant.

Snake-boy: would have been a good capture if the framing would be different (angle)... if it would be IN-Focus... if the photographer choose NOT to apply the stupid blurred effect around the subject (really bad).

Old couple:


Old couple:
Underexposed, horrid lack of detail (look at her hair)...
Colours are odd at best, nasty hat-shadow on his face...

Well not much of an interesting photo... besides the lack of detail.

The issue is, the photos - if you look at them outside of the context of "wow it's mobile photography", aren't especially good. Sure there are worse photographs floating around the globe - no doubt.
But worthy of being pushed onto websites? exhibition? contests? certainly not.

it's a publicity stunt and no more.

The sad thing though is, that most compact cameras would have been able to prevent half of the IQ related problems easily.
And the other thing that constantly bugs me about so called "mobile photography": is the postprocessing most "mobile photographers" are so fond of...
the weird attempt at making the photos look like something taken 1910-1930ies with an autochrome process.
the fake blurring, the washed out colours, the general over-processing, etc...

Edited 1 minute after posting

I get it:

- Bad post processing (auto filter crap)
- mediocre framing and subject selection
- stupid rating system (do & don't)
- Very average to low picture quality
- Social Networking

Put it together for a contest and you'll have yourself:
- a publicity stunt.


Wow, I've never seen so much attention paid to such crap photos before. These look like incidental parts of images that I crop out.
The idiots in charge are really falling for "The Emperors New Clothes" of photography, mobile phonography.


I thought it was a really nice theme.

1 upvote

Fully agree- the most average looking photos are lauded these days, simply because they are taken on a mobile device and run through some crappy post processing filter. Nothing remotely special about these. This is a marketing tool trying to give cudos to substandard photographic products, but the crappy photos and lack of technique speak for themselves.

Edited 2 times; latest 3 minutes since posting

Frankie...all of these pics are better than your smugmug pictures. Sorry, but true, bud. :(


I believe you have transposed the words None with All in your brain, which I have sufficient evidence to believe to be malfunctioning. It's obvious from your efforts at commentary that you are most likely a mobile-phonographer at best, and are therefore driven to defend what little you know about creating an image. And a gallery of your images for critique is where? Point made. And if you want it proven any more, let's go shooting together sometime. If indeed you have anything other than baseless opinion to spread, I'll gladly listen in hopes of learning something from you. Fair enough?

Edited 2 minutes after posting

Sorry, Frankie...I believe I was not clear.

I have shot Rollieflex twin lens reflex 2.8, Holga & Lomo toy cams, Canon 5D w/ 28-70L, 35/1.4L, 135L, and all of the Canon G series cameras. I know about analog and digital "quality." I also know about aesthetics and artistic merit. I know about composition and light quality.

What I meant to say is that any one of these six/6 mobile images presented in this Connect article are more interesting (in fact better photographs) than ANY of your pictures you claim as your own on your smugmug site.


You are absolutely free to express your opinion,
No matter how in error you are. By the way, there never was an Analog photography, perhaps you mean film based photography. Too bad that not even you feel Your shots are worth being seen, therefore no online galleries. I can keep pushing your buttons all day long if you'd like. Please show everyone here all of your superior shots - oh wait they would probably be crap compositions photographed without skill like the work that you defend so vehemently. Maybe not, who knows since it's far easier to talk big then demonstrate that you actually know from where you speak by exposing your work for the world to judge.
In pre-response to your next reply - Yawn!
P.S. thanks for the equipment list but I'm not impressed by what gear someone shoots - only the results. Do you get it yet? I'm not against phone-tographs, just the lousy pictures displayed here in this story.

Edited 4 minutes after posting

Right...the lousy pictures that are better than your own. I get it.

1 upvote

FrankieJ and JohnsonJ
I think both of you have forgotten what this post was about,” Mobile photographers capture do and don't moments” NOT do’s and don’ts of photography!
With that said, FrankieJ I went to your smugmug site and right from the start found some very well composed photos. So I’m not sure where JohnsonJ has the merit to claim that these PNS photos surpass your gallery.
Some possibilities are
1. Maybe JohsonJ hasn’t realized with his laundry list of equipment that you can twist the knob past the auto button, and that the auto button doesn’t stand for Auto-Magically Awesome photo, and hasn’t realized equipment does not make one a photographer.
2. Maybe you personally offended him because he shot one of these photos with his Canon 5D and doesn’t know you can put it into center AF mode, so it slipped through the cracks and qualified as a low end camera phone photo.

1 upvote

Now back to the original point! This was not a photo competition, it was the use of a certain type of photo to express a point. And I’m sure FrankieJ from your smugmug gallery if you had the chance to compose these photos you would have been capable of adding an artistic value to them. As far as JohnsonJ is concerned, since he is not willing to bless us with his work, his words have no merit and mean nothing.
BTW I shoot with a Lumina 820 WP8 and it was free with a 2 year contract! ;-)

1 upvote

You keep telling yourself that if it makes you feel better to scream Sour Grapes about my work. Sucks to be in the minority though doesn't it?

1 upvote

And here's proof that I don't sweat what other people think about my work. Go ahead judge - at least it means that you looked. Style without skill may be enough for some people but not me.


Frankie, it's good not to care what people think of your pictures. However, you did say that I'm free to express my opinion. Thanks for that. As well, this is not about my photography, this is about the images presented in this article and you saying that they are crap, and me informing you that it's not the case, especially when compare to your own pictures which are completely different, not really in the same genre. I stand my opinion that your pictures, while they might be technically sound, are uninspired, artistically vacuous and not very interesting to look at. I prefer any of these six/6 images to your images. As for my photography, I pretty much make prints. I don't post them to the Internet. I do show some of my prints in galleries and sell them. They're most excellent.


I am sure that if we met face to face that we would share some laughs and have a lot in common. I'm sorry for calling these crap per-se, but I felt that I had the right to express my opinion about these pix since they ARE on a website about Photography. They just didn't seem to be contest winners in a photographic sense. That plus the current emphasis and oohs and aahs that mobile snapshots are being bestowed with fueled an aggressive reaction from me. I still think that some of these pix literally look like frame grabs from a web-cam to me (e.g. Beach bodies).
I am very happy that we do have a forum where we can share our varying opinions. But it is like being an observer at a Cooking Contest (Yummy) that you find out only uses live insects for ingredients (Yucky). While the entries may meet the requirements of the contest rules they cannot be assumed to be to the liking of the majority of people when they generally think of Cooking skills and resulting flavor.

Edited 4 minutes after posting
Total comments: 32
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