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Photojournalist Ben Lowy explains why he uses an iPhone

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Photojournalist and iPhoneographer Ben Lowy is known for his work in conflict zones and has been awarded the World Press Photo, the Magnum Foundation Emergency fund and the ICP Infinity Award for Photojournalism. ©Benjamin Lowy

EyeEm is asking photojournalist Ben Lowy, famous for being one of the first to take mobile photography to mass media, everything we've always wanted to know about his work. 

In an interview being published on the social photo sharing service's blog simultaneously with this post (the folks at EyeEm were kind enough to let us get a sneak peek), Lowy, who recently began sharing his images via EyeEm, offers insight into his photography, journalism's changing landscape and his penchant for the iPhone.

In the interview Lowy gives reasons for using his iPhone, especially in conflict zones when he's reporting, which you may have heard before: "it was anonymous, it wasn’t particularly heavy, it didn’t get in the way of being intimate with a potential subject. And it was fast, I could just pull the phone out of my pocket and take a picture as things were happening in front of me."

But he also explains the broader implications of this choice:  

"More than that, it produced images in a visual style that people weren’t used to seeing. That is important to me. There is so much information out there these days, and its very hard to capture the attention of a – for the most part – apathetic public. By showing important images of a war or social issue to people using a unique aesthetic, I believe I can capture their attention and shine a light on some of these stories."

You can read EyeEm's full interview with Lowy and see more of his images here

Comments

Total comments: 84
lgaines
By lgaines (Feb 19, 2013)

Sorry man, Instagram filters are no longer "unique…" Ha. To be quite honest it sounds like laziness to me. Had he mentioned more about a phone being less of an interruption, then… maybe. If you can't create unique, interest piquing imagery without Facebook filters then you might want to practice a little more with something like a Canon AE-1. I'm just sayin. Then again, I probably don't make near as much per image as Lowy does. Instagram it is!

0 upvotes
Lordemed
By Lordemed (Feb 9, 2013)

Lowy is out there, doing his thing, getting published, and paid. I would guess he could use just about any camera and obtain quality fotos. Many of the negative posters, IMHO, are simply jealous.

Comment edited 52 seconds after posting
5 upvotes
Mishobaranovic
By Mishobaranovic (Feb 11, 2013)

As I said below, Apple doesn't pay photographers to promote its camera feature.

Comment edited 38 seconds after posting
1 upvote
kinrade
By kinrade (Feb 7, 2013)

Enigmatic images, very fine work.

0 upvotes
Joe Ogiba
By Joe Ogiba (Feb 7, 2013)

For compact use I think I would go with the RX100 or RX1 IMHO.

2 upvotes
88SAL
By 88SAL (Feb 7, 2013)

!Lets take our expensive phone and photograph conflict. Its got so much more to do with pro's Not even considering alternatives. It would seen that the phone they have bought to enforce their expensive image can do a job, as opposed to buying the phone Specifically for the job. I think tge difference between these two motivations is an important one.

0 upvotes
dodgebaena
By dodgebaena (Feb 7, 2013)

Most likely, he took a whole bunch of other equipment and used the iPhone for scenes that just called for an iPhone/filter treatment.
Anyways, that's what I would do to cover the needs of different publications/agencies/etc.

0 upvotes
rdp96
By rdp96 (Feb 8, 2013)

Agreed. You can't rely on the iPhone alone, what about poor light situations...

2 upvotes
RoccoGalatioto
By RoccoGalatioto (Feb 7, 2013)

I have mentioned this trend many times in my blog sort of as a way to tease those of us who crave billions of pixels and super huge cameras but also as a way to presage where we are headed. I believe that with inevitable improvements, for most people a smart phone will replace the camra. This has already begun. I have seen incredible smart phone and ipad images. I know that bigger is better but I remember that as films got better and better, the 135 format became king. Surely the same film in larger formats gave better images but the usability of the 135 format made it more useful. The same will happen with digital cameras. OK, we cannot shoot serious assignments with phones but for most purposes a phone will do. What this will cause the camera industry is a serious crisis. This would, in the end be bad for all of "us."
http://galatiotophoto.blogspot.com

0 upvotes
madeinlisboa
By madeinlisboa (Feb 11, 2013)

That's precisely why there are now so many "photographers"...

1 upvote
Rage Joe
By Rage Joe (Feb 7, 2013)

I hate that vignetting. Such a cliche to use, to make the pictures more 'artistic'.

What a cliche. Also that picture where those people are kneeling in front of a AK-47. What a bunch of propaganda ( and lies). And then again, those horrible filters.

Comment edited 8 minutes after posting
8 upvotes
h00ligan
By h00ligan (Feb 7, 2013)

""More than that, it produced images in a visual style that people weren’t used to seeing"

I guess he's been without Internet for a while...you know two years or so since everyone shoots thus style.

I get the advantages. And I get that print size is becoming irrelevant....but man, these shots could have been so much better if they weren't instagrammed, hipstamatic'd etc.

There's a place for these shots. In a twitter feed when shooting new shoes and other boring subjects where people HAVE to slut up the photos because the content is garbage. As for fast...he should get an rx100. It would provide much better images in a tiny package and allow the content to shine, not the effects the apps make.

Every shot looks cool with these apps, we get it...you're retro...so cool

Ugh

4 upvotes
JDThomas
By JDThomas (Feb 7, 2013)

If I never see a "pro photographer uses iPhone" article again it will be too soon. Seriously. Is news that slow that this article has to pop up twice a week with someone else's name attached to it?

YES, WE GET IT PROS ARE SHOOTING WITH iPHONES!!!!

Move along, nothing new to see here...

9 upvotes
rfsIII
By rfsIII (Feb 7, 2013)

During the Vietnam war because of the heat, humidity, and rain some great photographers took to using Nikonos underwater cameras. Did that make their pictures any less amazing?

2 upvotes
Gary Martin
By Gary Martin (Feb 7, 2013)

I have mixed feelings about this. I'm all for embracing new technologies, but there's something unsettling about war photos made to look like social media posts. Everyone wants to "grab eyeballs," but at what price? There's so much abstraction here, so much attention drawn to the media itself, that its subject is reduced to insignificance, at least to my jaded eyes.

0 upvotes
dodgebaena
By dodgebaena (Feb 7, 2013)

"the medium is the message" (McLuhan)

1 upvote
Wilmark
By Wilmark (Feb 7, 2013)

I really dont think its important what tools the photo journalist depend on for his stories, but I am not too thrilled about the instagram appearance of the above photos, makes it look like screen shots out of a movie from the 70's or looks like it belongs on facebook.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
maboule123
By maboule123 (Feb 6, 2013)

On the image "Tawarghan IDP"
We can see the dignity of that man.

0 upvotes
speculatrix
By speculatrix (Feb 6, 2013)

years ago I went to a talk given by someone who'd toured the middle east and he said that people there would get nervous the moment you pointed something at them whether a camera or a gun - they had an instinctive reaction to anything pointing! He bought a right-angle mirror attachment so he would face, say, north and take a picture to the east. He got much better candid photos of crowds and people.
My guess is that flat body of a smartphone also means you can take pictures of people without upsetting them.

Another benefit he would have had using an iphone is easy upload.

I think he'd have been better off with the Galaxy Camera, one with 3G + wifi. Better pictures, same upload-from-camera benefit, yet still compact and non-threatening.

1 upvote
Low Budget Dave
By Low Budget Dave (Feb 6, 2013)

The hard work is actually going into conflict zones and being willing to document what you see. All the rest is marketing. I don't like the filters, but they accomplished what he wanted them to do: I clicked on the article and looked at the pictures.

3 upvotes
PhD4
By PhD4 (Feb 6, 2013)

If it were actual "photojournalism", it wouldn't matter what he used to take the snaps. The story attached would explain what can't be seen in the distant, poorly exposed shots, with whatever "clever" pre-made filters are applied.
From a distance of course, because he will be limited without a zoom lens, especially in the more dangerous situations... that he will be avoiding when he realizes all he has is a phone.

People that don't know better will read the story and look at his photos... they will be different than the norm and some of them will say "wow, that's a cool snapshot".

While others will say: "how many guys are kneeling behind that AK? The poor exposure loses all definition once you get halfway up the row"...... "Stop using those Instagram filters, they're so overdone".

The fact that we even know what he uses, shows that he is going for the "different" aspect.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
johnmacp
By johnmacp (Feb 6, 2013)

You can praise or criticize all you like but the fact is that pretty much all the posts below me are arguing over the tools- iPhone, Android, filters, blah blah blah - says it all.

There are virtually no comments on the actual images presented making them simply uninformative window-dressing.

Whats the story behind them? Where are these people standing on a hill? What are these guys praying with a AK47 doing there, and what did they do next? What are they fighting for? Who are they fighting against? Do they have names?

THATS all that matters to me. And is that not what all this new-age connected PJ'sm is supposed to be about ? Telling stories?

I see precious little real communication going on here. SO if using the iPhone is supposed to aid communication of important issues and raise awareness it's failing miserably at least in this context - and I would argue that this is precisely the sort of place that communication should be happening.

Or am I missing something?

2 upvotes
phantom5691
By phantom5691 (Feb 6, 2013)

I think the 2nd and 3rd are well composed, in particular the 3rd as the gun is facing the Qibla as well...the first does nothing for me, personally.

although i don't know if he goes into any detail about the subjects on the blog link (i am at work and its blocked), i really hope he does because to make this just about his equipment with no mention of what he is really shooting is problematic. It makes the fact that he is using an iPhone more important than the subjects themselves.

0 upvotes
Scott Everett
By Scott Everett (Feb 6, 2013)

Hey John, some context might help you. These photos originally ran in a major publication with accompanying text by a writer. The story was told and the photos were used to illustrate. Could have they been taken on other gear? Perhaps, but I think Ben chose the iphone in certain circumstances due to close quarters, timing, and so on. But, the point, is that the device was a means to get the shots, which were used in storytelling.

1 upvote
dodgebaena
By dodgebaena (Feb 6, 2013)

Unfortunately, in this case, "the medium is the message" (McLuhan)

0 upvotes
LensBeginner
By LensBeginner (Feb 6, 2013)

Exactly. When a photographer says "I'm shooting with my iPhone (TM)" then it's only a publicity stunt, and deserves to be treated as such

When a photographer says "I'm shooting with my cameraphone" then you can think that there's a message worth considering behind those words.

I'm not surfing the internet to read ads.

2 upvotes
dodgebaena
By dodgebaena (Feb 6, 2013)

Ben Lowy will be good whether he uses a Speed Graphic, a Rolleiflex, a Nikon F, a Rollei SE, an OM-1, an iPhone, or a Diana F. He has used the real and perceived strengths of the iPhone to suit "his" content, and his way of seeing. What's wrong with that?
Slings and arrows will always be flung at the pioneers in any field. And thank goodness to dpreview for "CONNECT". It's a free service so take it or leave it. It always amazes me for people who complain when something that is for free turns out to be not to their liking, such as Facebook or Instagram. You can either take it or leave it. Seems to me "entitlement" is a chronic disesae.

0 upvotes
JoseCuervo_EsMejor
By JoseCuervo_EsMejor (Feb 6, 2013)

"Ben Lowy will be good whether he uses a Speed Graphic, a Rolleiflex, a Nikon F, a Rollei SE, an OM-1, an iPhone, or a Diana F." We now that. This is so obvius that we need to ask, if he take this photo with a old Nokia N95 he will receive the same atention?
Sorry about my poor english.

1 upvote
phantom5691
By phantom5691 (Feb 6, 2013)

"if he take this photo with a old Nokia N95 he will receive the same attention? "

Interesting...i have to say that i really kind of doubt it. But that is testament to the grip that the iPhone and magic filters has on photography aesthetics nowadays. It really is remarkable.

0 upvotes
dodgebaena
By dodgebaena (Feb 6, 2013)

does it matter what his motives are? whether he is leftist anti-war or right-wing, or a lackey of Apple, or whatever, whether he gets attention or not, his work is what it is. He will get the same attention if he takes it with a Nokia because he actually goes into places most of us won't dare go.
Have a look at his award-winning works NOT done with an iPhone (www.benlowy.com). He got attention for those too... just so happens some of us just read about it. In fact, he got paid for those commissioned work, and that's the best compliment.

0 upvotes
phantom5691
By phantom5691 (Feb 6, 2013)

"it produced images in a visual style that people weren’t used to seeing"

Yeah, no one has EVER seen those hipstagram type filters before. lol

4 upvotes
Scott Everett
By Scott Everett (Feb 6, 2013)

The point is that when his images were coming out in Time, NYT, and New Yorker, they were hitting mass audiences that dont pay attention to the latest movements in photography technology, so yes, most of the eyeballs seeing his Libya or Afghanistan images had not seen Hipstamatic images in 2010-2012.

5 upvotes
JoseCuervo_EsMejor
By JoseCuervo_EsMejor (Feb 6, 2013)

They dont care about image itself. The important thing here is The iphone! I saw a award wining picture of Servia Vs Youguslavia or Croatia but taken with a Nokia simple Phone, not a smartphone. But is not so cool because is not magic like iphone. You dont need to take good pictures, all you need is an iphone and paint the People with orange color. Theres not Black People anymore, they are Orange now!

5 upvotes
WillemVO
By WillemVO (Feb 6, 2013)

Ohlala ! Tell me what's important : The result (photo) , or the last perfect pixel ? To me the 2 photographs shows are pretty impressive the way they are ! Do continue this way Benjamin !

0 upvotes
robogobo
By robogobo (Feb 6, 2013)

Wow, lots of ignorance out there. Incredible that people let their fanaticism get in the way of understanding such an incredible uptake of modern technology. Not only is this a "the best camera is the one you have with you" illustration, but an earnest attempt to reject the "big rig" mentality that's collapsing as smaller cameras become more capable, surpassing the DSLR in many instances.

First, it doesn't matter that this is an iPhone as opposed to an android phone, except that out of the box there's more synchronization on the OS level and less fiddling to make things work. The same could be done with an android phone. It just so happens that he didn't.

Second, a smartphone is much more reliably connected to the Internet, and therefore social media and file transfer services, than any DSLR. This alone makes it the oft superior tool.

Third, the presence of a smartphone is ubiquitous, less obtrusive than a big rig, so it allowed spontaneous natural moments to be captured.....

2 upvotes
robogobo
By robogobo (Feb 6, 2013)

...
To those who think photojournalism is objective, and retro filters are deceptive... wake up! There is only subjectivism in photography. No truth, only perspective. Applying a filter is editorial, but in no way any different than choosing focal length, shooting angle or crop. Any aspiring pro or enthusiast should recognize that right off.

Get bent kids. This is the future.

Comment edited 44 seconds after posting
4 upvotes
Rage Joe
By Rage Joe (Feb 7, 2013)

"To those who think photojournalism is objective, and retro filters are deceptive... wake up! "

Well, go back to your slumbers. Retro filters are very deceptive and boring.

2 upvotes
madeinlisboa
By madeinlisboa (Feb 6, 2013)

Why always an iPhone? I never see an Android device on these kind of news. Are they inferior or do we all have to accept that this is only Apple advertising? Knowing that Android devices cover more than 75% of the market, I can only assume these are desperate moves to spread the iPhones and iPads as much as possible.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
7 upvotes
jcmarfilph
By jcmarfilph (Feb 6, 2013)

Looks like 99% of the Connect writers are apple fanatics. =D

Since iphone produces horrible images, why can't they use android phone? Is it hard to share and edit and put lousy insta filters on it?

8 upvotes
robogobo
By robogobo (Feb 6, 2013)

You guys have no idea what you're talking about. Big picture, people!

0 upvotes
LensBeginner
By LensBeginner (Feb 6, 2013)

What's that big picture supposed to be? The triumph of the worst only because it's supposed to be cool and idiot proof?
Sorry but I don't buy Apple's need-to-know-basis OS philosophy.

2 upvotes
robogobo
By robogobo (Feb 6, 2013)

Huh? Good for you!

The big picture is this: being fanatically anti-apple is as bad as being fanatically pro-apple. This guy used an iPhone. That's a fact. Get over it.

5 upvotes
LensBeginner
By LensBeginner (Feb 6, 2013)

I seriously considered apple products, I don't think I'm "fanatically anti-apple", but the fact that people buy apple just because they don't know that there is a choice (which by the way is supposed to be a good thing) makes me mad.

It's not about apple at all, it's also about culture, with millions of readers reading about shades of this, shades of that and largely ignoring a huge amount of greatly significant books.

You want the "great picture"? It's about massification and herd behavior.

Really good for me, you're right. Until, because of people like almost everybody else, we are not given a choice anymore.
Then it'll be bad not only for me, but for you as well.

Just think about it.

Comment edited 12 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
madeinlisboa
By madeinlisboa (Feb 6, 2013)

Why should I buy an Apple product if I can buy an Android 5 times cheaper? It's not a matter of anti-apple or anti-android position, but of good judgment. If I can have the same features on a much cheaper device, why should I bother burning my hard earned money on a tech brick?
Paying more than 500 hundred euros for photographing and cling to facebook it is not my perspective of spending money wisely...
I own a 200 euros 10.1" Android for reading books, magazines, watching tutorials and movies when i feel like to, for my son playing games, everything a tech brick does for a fraction of the price. Don't tell me that is culture or whatever, owning a much more expensive toy is only for showing of...

Comment edited 8 minutes after posting
1 upvote
EchoCharlie
By EchoCharlie (Feb 6, 2013)

It is easy to missed the point here. It's a marketing game. Using the most effective tool in selling the product. It could be any product. It only happen that apple has the brilliance in doing so. Making it happen at the right place and time with the right tool is a master's call.

0 upvotes
rfsIII
By rfsIII (Feb 7, 2013)

I think it's because two reasons... Many professional photographers live in the Macintosh ecosystem so it makes sense they would stay with apple when they buy phones and second, Apple had one of the first decent cameras in their phones and dont forget they had apps! There is no dark conspiracy, it just sort of evolved that way.

0 upvotes
Photog74
By Photog74 (Feb 6, 2013)

This reminds me of a story from about 10 years ago when Magnum photographer Alex Majoli would use three Olympus C-5050 compact cameras to document the Iraq war. There have always been, and will likely always be, photographers who use smaller devices instead of the generally bulky SLRs preferred by the majority of their colleagues. This is nothing new, actually.

2 upvotes
Rumle
By Rumle (Feb 6, 2013)

I was reminded of that story as well. The way Alex worked back then inspired me a lot :)

0 upvotes
JhvaElohimMeth
By JhvaElohimMeth (Feb 6, 2013)

I have that compact, nice tool...

0 upvotes
phantom5691
By phantom5691 (Feb 6, 2013)

i remember that too...he is brilliant

0 upvotes
Scott Everett
By Scott Everett (Feb 6, 2013)

I actually bought that camera because of that story. :)

0 upvotes
Jonathan F/2
By Jonathan F/2 (Feb 6, 2013)

What's the big deal? A mirrorless camera like an E-PM2 is just as big as an iphone, you can slap on interchangeable lenses, and if you want the instagram look, you can attach a 15mm f/8 body cap lens and achieve the same results. Camera phones are gimmicks for hipsters and PJs trying to act cool.

Comment edited 9 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
Mishobaranovic
By Mishobaranovic (Feb 6, 2013)

I don't think Ben Lowy goes to a warzone to act 'cool'.

7 upvotes
grock
By grock (Feb 6, 2013)

I'd venture to say an iPhone is more pocketable than an E-PM2. When you talk about size, you have to talk about all THREE dimensions.
And switching lenses and body cap lenses etc- just not as convenient, and more gear, which defeats the purpose of shooting with an iPhone, doesn't it? And with an iPhone, you can upload it instantly.
Camera phones are gimmicks? No, those little tassles that people put on their phones, those are gimmicks. Maybe 12 years ago camera phones were gimmicks. Now, it's a legitimate photography tool. Or I could be wrong, and the guy who goes to photograph war zones makes acting cool his top priority.
Seriously, do people not get the difference between shooting in the field and shooting in an ideal, controlled environment?

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 3 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Abhijith Kannankavil
By Abhijith Kannankavil (Feb 6, 2013)

is dpreview getting any sort of funds from apple??

1 upvote
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (Feb 6, 2013)

Wow. No. No we are not. Somehow I think they're doing OK for publicity.

Comment edited 25 seconds after posting
7 upvotes
grock
By grock (Feb 6, 2013)

Would the internet collapse if it weren't for all the "you're being paid by apple" conspiracy theories propping it up?
What about this would make a reasonable person think Apple was paying dpreview? The fact that the word "iPhone" appears anywhere in it?

2 upvotes
JWest
By JWest (Feb 6, 2013)

Apple doing okay for publicity? Well, there's a shock!

0 upvotes
Bluebird47
By Bluebird47 (Feb 6, 2013)

It's a pity that this website gave up all interest in serving serious photographers and instead became a silly "me too blog" on the current fad of mainstream mobile "photography" with phones. Yes, we got it. Influential people use phones, but not because of its technological superiority (in conflict situations, a real camera is certainly superior in terms of shooting speed, low light performance etc.), but as a cheap marketing ploy to pander to the masses, same as you. How about an "why i DON'T use an iphone" article? Now that would show some serious balls! Just sayin.

5 upvotes
xlynx9
By xlynx9 (Feb 6, 2013)

Problem with that is things like shooting speed are rapidly approaching (or have surpassed) most people's acceptable threshold, so that argument is diminishing. It's an emerging photographic culture, why shouldn't it attract media attention more than something already established?

2 upvotes
Scott Everett
By Scott Everett (Feb 6, 2013)

Bluebird47, we are all ears if you have any meaningful commentary on the content of this article or site, but leading with "this website gave up all interest in serving serious photographers" shows a serious lack of understanding of the facts. We have not changed any of the existing Dpreview content, we've just added more, via a new site that is separate from the main site.

As for this particular piece, not once in the post above is the fact that Ben Lowy uses an iPhone presented as novel due to the technological capabilities of the device, yet that is your only real comment, that influential people don't use mobile phones for photography because of their technology (a lot of irony to this statement).

Regardless, we'd love to have you pen a piece on why you dont use an iphone. If it's interesting and actually provides our readers with valuable information, we'll publish it (probably to Dpreview though). I mean that. Drop me a PM with your angle.

9 upvotes
Scott Everett
By Scott Everett (Feb 6, 2013)

In the meantime, if you are still confused about Ben Lowy, why he uses an iphone (at times), what kind of work he does for Reportage by Getty (a serious professional photography agency apparently) and want to learn more, I suggest you check out this other site that like Dpreview may have no real interest in professional photography, The New York Times: http://lens.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/05/02/ben-lowy-virtually-unfiltered/

2 upvotes
grock
By grock (Feb 6, 2013)

So it can't be "serious" photography unless you're lugging around a huge DSLR to take "serious" shots? Have you ever tried to take a photo of someone who might not want his or her photo taken? And of someone who may do you harm? Maybe an iPhone is just a good way to get a shot without getting shot.
I think the point Ben Lowy is making is not that it's an iPhone in particular, but just a smartphone with a decent enough camera. There's no question that smartphone cameras are good enough in some light to replace a lot of cameras that were pretty advanced just a few years ago.
I'm sorry if photography isn't as exclusive a club as it used to be. But there are plenty of great photos being taken with cameras that you don't need to set a lot of manual settings with. It's not about technical superiority. It's about accessibility. You take photos so people can see them. And these are "serious" photos. You think Walker Evans wouldn't have loved to have had an iPhone on the New York subway?

2 upvotes
Kim Letkeman
By Kim Letkeman (Feb 6, 2013)

It's not about plugging for Apple and it's not (only) about convenience and it's certainly not about style. It's about fashion. And it is fashionable right now to shoot with a phone, because it still manages to surprise the naive that taking an image in bright light with a modern smart phone is not only not difficult, it looks just like every other camera on the market. These conditions are not challenging in the least, so a modicum of skill and talent will render a nice image every time. What is not easy is to get noticed, and phone images happen to be fashionable right now. This too shall pass, so get while the getting is good.

8 upvotes
riknash
By riknash (Feb 6, 2013)

I don't think its an issue of being fashionable or pulling the wool over the eyes of the naive but rather a tool that can produce acceptable results without creating attention... "hey look everyone, I'm taking a photograph with this big obvious DSLR!" It's not about taking a technically perfect image...who cares, but rather getting the job done, capturing the essence of the story through images, unobtrusively.

5 upvotes
Kim Letkeman
By Kim Letkeman (Feb 6, 2013)

@riknash -- You don't think it's fashionable to shoot with a phone and then blog about it ... so I suggest that you are obviously the target market for such articles. I had been wondering why there were so many of them :-)

1 upvote
jjnik
By jjnik (Feb 6, 2013)

I can get most his reasons except where he says it's fast - a "fast" phone has yet to be brought to market!

0 upvotes
riknash
By riknash (Feb 6, 2013)

It is very fast to deploy, take the shot and put away before the subject even has had a chance to register what just happened. Perfect for spontaneous imaging that likely captures more of the subjects true emotions than something where they will brace and compose themselves in front of a big ugly DSLR with a fat foreboding lens. The subject isn't even sure you photographed them when you look quickly at the phone, shoot and put it away.

3 upvotes
Karroly
By Karroly (Feb 5, 2013)

What I expect from a photojournalist is to report the facts and only the facts, avoiding any kind of distortion if possible.
When a photojournalist tries to put some aesthetic in his/her pictures to catch attention or to translate his/her own feelings into his/her pictures, he/she - intentionally or not - MANIPULATES us, the viewers...

8 upvotes
Scott Everett
By Scott Everett (Feb 5, 2013)

For the record, photojournalists are distorting the facts every day by choosing what to shoot. They are making a choice "this is the way to tell this story" (thus choosing what story should be told, and how). The composition, editing, and everything thereafter is just added layers. There are limitations to journalism in every form, including photography. Not trying to negate your point, but I think its worth considering the larger perspective of how this whole system actually works.

Comment edited 12 seconds after posting
10 upvotes
grock
By grock (Feb 6, 2013)

Even when facts are reported, the mere fact that they are being reported "manipulates" the viewers/readers. The most "important" facts are given first. Are those the most important to each person reading or viewing? Of course not. It's impossible to deliver any sort of information without some bias of the person delivering the information coming through. You can drive yourself crazy or feel manipulated by someone presenting something in a way you don't agree with, or you can just look at the info, make your own decisions, and go get a sandwich or something and get on with your life.

Comment edited 47 seconds after posting
1 upvote
Mystery Gardener
By Mystery Gardener (Feb 5, 2013)

'Photojournalist Ben Lowy explains why he uses an iPhone'

Plain and simple, because someone is paying him to do so. Cheers :-)

6 upvotes
Isit13
By Isit13 (Feb 5, 2013)

Exactly, on top of it all, he does not bring truth out, but instead his view of "art" from the people that suffer, those pictures are a perversion of the truth that actually occurs in our world today.

6 upvotes
Mishobaranovic
By Mishobaranovic (Feb 5, 2013)

Isit13, So is black and white photography a perversion?

Comment edited 6 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
Mishobaranovic
By Mishobaranovic (Feb 5, 2013)

Mystery Gardener, He started using it because it worked for him, then people started paying him for the images. He must be doing something right, no?

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 33 seconds after posting
5 upvotes
Rage Joe
By Rage Joe (Feb 7, 2013)

'Photojournalist Ben Lowy explains why he uses an iPhone'

He didn't tell it.

1 upvote
backayonder
By backayonder (Feb 5, 2013)

A good image is one that captures the moment and evokes some sort of emotion in the viewer whether the image was taken on a box Brownie, iPhone or DLSR. I can't help but feel these images would be better if taken wih a DLSR.

4 upvotes
Scott Everett
By Scott Everett (Feb 5, 2013)

From the article: "In the interview Lowy gives reasons for using his iPhone, especially in conflict zones when he's reporting, which you may have heard before: "it was anonymous, it wasn’t particularly heavy, it didn’t get in the way of being intimate with a potential subject. And it was fast, I could just pull the phone out of my pocket and take a picture as things were happening in front of me."

3 upvotes
Underdog 3000
By Underdog 3000 (Feb 5, 2013)

You could also be inconspicous with a RX100. Significantly better image quality; but hey, I hear Apple is generous with plugs.

3 upvotes
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (Feb 5, 2013)

Because Apple needs publicity...

There are good reasons why you might get a shot with the iPhone (or any smartphone) compared to a traditional compact or DSLR camera. Lowy explains them in the article (as per Scott's extracted paragraph above).

2 upvotes
Mishobaranovic
By Mishobaranovic (Feb 5, 2013)

Do you think Apple cares who takes photos with their phones? They don't do any cross promo of the camera feature. Photographers use it because it's the most advanced and comprehensive mobile ecosystem.

Comment edited 24 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
SergioNevermind
By SergioNevermind (Feb 6, 2013)

The facts and only the facts?
Three people, three different interpretations of the same fact.
There is no such thing as an only and universal truth.
Anytime anybody aims a camera ( or a pen, or a word) he will tell HIS only and unique vision,
In an image is what you choose to show and also what you choose NOT TO SHOW.
Everybody involved in media comunication knows this.
About the apple promotion, it may be true or not, why don't we just look at the resuts? (let's say, just the facts ;-)

0 upvotes
Christos Tolis
By Christos Tolis (Feb 6, 2013)

As far as I'm concerned, the whole discussion on whether an iPhone (or any other smartphone for that matter..) constitutes a legit tool for professional photography is really on the obsolete side right now. I've sold many small prints made with my iPhone (oops, sorry, just "phone") and I've yet to meet anyone who complained about my practice or even realized they were captured with such a tool for that matter. The thing is this... I will gladly shoot with anything at my disposal and work within its limitations. I can't see how people don't realize that - for street shooters mainly - smartphone cams are a great addition to the old arsenal. There are things that you just can't use them for like low light, long exposures or shallow DoF, but hey, not everybody is into that anyway. As I said, it's already here, no use debating it anymore. The only camera you can't take a good shot with is the one you left at home...

0 upvotes
rlopes
By rlopes (Feb 6, 2013)

People arguing about what a PROFESSIONAL Gettyimages photographer decides to use to capture his photos... Unreal...

0 upvotes
Total comments: 84
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