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India, Instagram and a smartphone

55
Waiting for the train at Bilaspur Station. All images by Misho Baranovic. 

In 2010 I travelled to northern Sri Lanka to document the post-war recovery efforts. I left my iPhone at home that time, worried that it wasn’t a ‘real’ camera and that I wouldn’t be taking the job seriously.  

Recently I was presented with a similar opportunity to shoot in the sub-continent – as a blogger for World Vision Australia – but this time I couldn’t wait to use my iPhone. Two years later, it had become my camera of choice for documenting such a journey.

Two young girls watching the performers set up as part of our welcome ceremony.

World Vision Australia is the Australian branch of the worldwide international charity that works with developing communities. One of World Vision’s key fundraising initiatives is the child sponsorship program, matching individual donors to a specific child and community. I was lucky enough to be asked by World Vision to join three other Australian bloggers – Eden Riley of Edenland, Kelly Burstow of Be a Fun Mum and Carly Jacobs of Smaggle – to document both the sponsorship program and the organization’s development projects throughout northern India. Over nine days we visited child journalist projects in the slums of Delhi, women’s training and farming projects in remote villages and other efforts. Eventually, Kelly, Eden and Joy (our World Vision social media officer) got to meet their sponsor children.

Lajja welcomed us to her home located in a Delhi slum.  She works together with World Vision to help educate young mothers about child health and nutrition.

Creating a dialogue

As the group’s ‘token’ photo-blogger, my intention was to do a rolling photo documentary of the trip, presenting my photographs as a series of short snapshots, or ‘stories,’ of our experiences.  At each site I tried my best to take photos to show what was happening but also to learn enough about the story to try and provide honest and accurate captions. 

I shot more than 2,000 photos with my iPhone throughout the course of the trip.  I was able to capture, edit, narrate, sequence and share a series of photos all from the phone the same day as they were taken. I decided to use Instagram and Twitter as the primary means to share the photo stories each day, so that followers (my own and those watching the #WVAIndia hashtag) could follow our itinerary in real time.

A young girl passes by the doorway of a village house.  

What this also meant was that followers could also connect with the trip by adding their own comments and questions almost instantaneously. This is, I think, the greatest advantage of shooting with a smartphone while travelling: the connection provided by social networks and the ability to share the work on daily basis. By using Instagram and Twitter, the photos became interactive: people were able to engage with images and ask questions about both the images themselves and the journey in general. Commenters also shared their own stories of travelling through India, the challenges of third world development, and even their own stories of hardship that they saw reflected in the images. It was as much about the dialogue as the photos themselves. 

The shade tent provided a filtered view of the village women carrying bales of paddy from the harvest.

To show you how I used Instagram during the trip, I am sharing my favourite series of photos, taken on the second to last day, while we were visiting the slum regeneration project in the town of Raipur, in Chhattisgarh. As you can see, each photo is numbered and captioned.  This helps people see, while they are scrolling through their feeds, that the shots are part of a larger series of work, and where they fit into the timeline of the trip. Longer accompanying captions can be found by clicking through to the Instagram photo directly.

Getting closer with a smartphone

Another great advantage of shooting with a smartphone on such a trip was seeing the locals relax when they saw me with my iPhone. They are familiar with smartphone cameras, and many pulled out their own phones to snap photos of us in return! I recognized that they, too, wanted to preserve the moment. 

This photographic exchange was a great ice breaker on a number of occasions. One time, I exchanged phones with a young man who was documenting the welcoming ceremony that had been organised for our arrival in a village outside Bilaspur. The man showed me the videos and photos he’d been recording.  I showed him what I’d taken, in turn.  He smiled and gave me a big hug when we left the village.

Laughs all round as we both photograph each other.

As people relaxed, I was able to take more intimate photographs.  I didn’t feel constrained by having to be ‘The Photographer’ on the journey.  The phone let me participate in the projects and document them at the same time. There was no barrier between me and my subjects—I was no longer hidden behind a big camera.

On our way to visit Joy’s sponsor child, Priyanka.

The majority of my photos have little-to-no processing applied.  I decided that, in this context, filters didn’t add anything to the stories I was sharing.  I believe that knowing the colour of the sky, earth and skin helps people better relate to the location and subject of the image.

Fellow blogger Kelly (bottom left) surrounded by locals as she meets her sponsor child, Lucky, in a slum on the outskirts of Raipur.

Camera phones are not without their limits

So were there any limitations? To be honest, yes, there were two: low-light shots and close-up portraits.  While most smartphones have come a long way with low-light performance, it’s still not enough when you’re in a small single room house in an Indian slum lit by a single 20w flickering bulb. Also, while it’s more field of view rather than device related, I did struggle to take close up portraits that were flattering to the subject.  On these two occasions I found myself taking out the DSLR and 50mm prime.  

Enjoying the new children’s park provided by World Vision as part of the Raipur Area Development Program slum regeneration project.

Tips for shooting with your smartphone abroad

1. Get a good camera replacement app which gives you control over focus and exposure.

I swear by ProCamera because it’s the fastest and most stable shooting app on the iPhone. Experiment to find your favorite app for your platform.

2. Back up your photos every night!

I also bring along my PC, so I just plug my iPhone in and copy photos over.  You can also set up DropBox or Google Drive for Cloud Backup.

3. Get a spare battery pack.

You will need extra battery life when out in the field.  I actually had two backup batteries.

A dapper young man rolled up for a portrait while we were visiting sponsor children in outer Raipur.

You can find all my photos of the trip on my website.  They are ordered from Day 8 through to Day 1. As mentioned above, click through on any photograph for a longer description of its contents and the subsequent comments from followers.  You can also find out more about World Vision Australia’s development work on their website

I’d love to hear from other photographers that use smartphones for photojournalism and if there are any other advantages or challenges that you find with the device. I’d also love for you to share any photos that you’ve taken by posting a link in the comments section below!


Misho Baranovic@mishobaranovic, has worked as a photographer for many years and is prominent in the emerging practice of mobile photography. His street photography has been exhibited internationally and in 2011 he held his first solo exhibition, New Melbourne, in Melbourne, Australia. He is a founding member of the Mobile Photo Group, and the author of iPhone Photography.

Comments

Total comments: 55
sumitd
By sumitd (Feb 22, 2013)

Oh dear god!

Misho, the article is good work. I followed you on IG during your trip so kinda saw a number of these images before. And I see your point about iPhone. I wish my smartphone was as good.

I'm not a professional but ultimately I believe in the power of the image. Does it do the job? If so, I honestly couldn't care less about the device used. Get your basics right and you could take a good picture with any decent camera (dedicated or mobile).

0 upvotes
Dean Holland
By Dean Holland (Feb 22, 2013)

I love the photos and the messages behind them - thanks for sharing such a great story! World Vision aim to shrink the social distance between people across continents, and it sounds like the smartphone helped to do the same job. It's not often you hear of a camera working as an "ice-breaker", instead of a barrier.
Awesome stuff!

0 upvotes
Kevin Kuster
By Kevin Kuster (Feb 21, 2013)

Misho, great images, great read and most importantly great job on helping World Vision! We need more creatives like you to give their time and talents to such worthy causes. Don't let the negative comments get you down. Just keep doing what you do so well and I for one will continue to enjoy your work. I could not agree with you more on using what ever tool/camera gets the job done for the particular project.

3 upvotes
Mishobaranovic
By Mishobaranovic (Feb 21, 2013)

Thanks Kevin, appreciate the support. I'm quite enjoying the lively debate. I'm happy with the work I created so am not taking the negativity comments personally. But it sure can be a tough crowd here when it steps over into the main DPreview site.

2 upvotes
Peiasdf
By Peiasdf (Feb 20, 2013)

Read through the comments and I think I got it. This isn't about photography; it is about propaganda for World Vision. The photos are "shared" in real time, their travel and encounters are beamed directly to Instagram and Twitter so the people paying for the program would feel like they are part of the trip and getting their money's worth.

If they took proper photos, documented their trip carefully and edited into an hour program, the sponsors would only get a hour long video instead of low quality "live feed" that makes them feel being part of something.

It is a but like live concert. You paid a lot more for worse audio than you'd have buying a MP3 but you are part of something. Quality isn't important in this case.

1 upvote
Oliver Lang
By Oliver Lang (Feb 20, 2013)

Yeah but that hour long program didn't happen did it? There's a new audience, different distribution channels, new processes... Quality is relative, you said so yourself - so your point about quality is weak.

And "Propoganda"? Really? Hahah

1 upvote
Mishobaranovic
By Mishobaranovic (Feb 20, 2013)

I'm sorry Peisdf, I don't understand what your trying to say. I went there as a volunteer. I was free to shoot and write what I wanted. I shared the photos and text with my followers on different social networks and blogs (most were not in any way associated with World Vision). I'm happy if a few did feel part of something. That was the point of the trip.

It's a pity you value pictures only by the camera they were taken with and not the content. That can't be much fun.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Peiasdf
By Peiasdf (Feb 20, 2013)

@Oliver Lang, Mishobaranovic
Propaganda is the right phrase. What else are you going to call it? Marketing? Fundraising?

The goal is to get people involved with the program to see their contribution and people not involved interested. By posting on Instagram and Twitter, people will "retweet" your journey to their FB, Instagram account. This is quite different than traditional outlet such as newspaper or TV where you have to tune in to see the program. Now the program are brought to you by your social network “friends” akin to a preacher on subway platform… unavoidable but no less forced.

0 upvotes
Peiasdf
By Peiasdf (Feb 20, 2013)

@Mishobaranovic
As someone that has taken about 2500 photos with his iPhone4 I know about content vs. technical quality. The issues I have with your pictures is that you purposely choose poor quality to appeal to the lowest common denominator, Instagram and FB photo lovers, instead of let your picture do the talking. You used your iPhone to document your journey but let’s not pretend it is because it can take quality pictures. Read your first two paragraphs and count all the underexposed faces in the pictures; you’ll get what I am saying.

If I am on a similar trip, I would use iPhone to take and upload photos of the hotel, car/train ride as they happen and a DSLR/EVIL to take portrait, landscape photos for upload at the end of the day.

0 upvotes
Oliver Lang
By Oliver Lang (Feb 20, 2013)

Honestly, I don't take this sort of criticism seriously. You're actually not arguing for anything, just arguing to label things in a derogatory way.

The points you've raised about social media aren't relevant to any argument against using the mobile phone camera. And I don't think 2,500 photos qualifies your opinion about mobile photography.

You don't have experience in this area, you just have your opinions. Your process you've mentioned, yes it's just as valid a way! But then so is Misho's approach, but that's not what you've said is it?

But calling the audience the lowest common denominator? You've just labelled thousands of people, who you don't know anything about! Why? Is it because you're not here to learn, not here out of curiosity, not here to explore the potential. You're just here to call people names.

2 upvotes
Mishobaranovic
By Mishobaranovic (Feb 21, 2013)

Again Peisadf, I'm struggling to see what your saying. I reject that this is propaganda. People are not forced to follow my feed (they can unfollow me on any network). They also had direct communication with me throughout the trip and were able to ask about any part of the journey and programming. That's the opposite of propoganda as there is complete transparency. If you want a definition i'd call it awareness raising.

I also don't see your connection with traditional media, which often has plenty of hidden agendas in it's messaging and is completely one way in its content delivery.

No I have purposely chosen the tool that helps me tell a story quickly and clearly. I do get what your saying, my exposures aren't to your liking so you've blamed the camera. The ones with under exposed faces (e.g. Day 9, Photo 4) was a purposeful decision to juxtapose the near silhouettes of the figures against the decaying buildings. Yes, i could have pumped the exposure but decided not to.

Comment edited 54 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
Peiasdf
By Peiasdf (Feb 21, 2013)

@Oliver Lang
Lowest common denominator because they are satisfied with very mundane photos. I have visited your site and I can clearly see you have skill and you take good photos. I can also see your processed some photos before upload so there is really no need for you to pretend the World Vision photos are good.

You are defending your friend and that's that. My criticism is towards him posting poor photos and be so quick to proclaim iPhone is replacing DSLR/EVIL for this type of situation.

And yes, 2500 is not much and your photos are way better than mine so you can belittle me. Just remember, there are better photographers out there so your opinion are as worthless as mine.

0 upvotes
Peiasdf
By Peiasdf (Feb 21, 2013)

@Mishobaranovic
Alright, awareness raising. Propaganda might be too strong a word though I am very wary of religious NGO and viral/grass root awareness program through social media after the Kony 2012 event. Proper reporting a la New York Times or PBS is still my cup of tea. Even then they are prone to bias so you know why I choose the word I used.

As for the photos, they are mundane. I have also visited your page and the work are much much better. If the World Vision photos were as good as your typical work, I would not have objected to your call to bring iPhone to field work. Camera phone have improved a lot but they are not DSLR/EVIL. I would know, I have a 1.3mp camera phone back in 2004.

0 upvotes
Oliver Lang
By Oliver Lang (Feb 21, 2013)

It's ridiculous that you call these images mundane, they're shot to the brief, on location of World Vision programs. You've simply said "they're mundane", you haven't said why. Did you expect pictures of suffering and other third world stereotypes? IS that it?

I think that they're composed well, and capture people and places beautifully. Please, don't pretend to know what I think.

My criticism is that your criticism is pathetic. You've called people names, labelled actions as "propaganda" and then somehow compared this process to KONY2012? How many straws do you need to clutch at to make absolutely no point whatsoever?

I don't care about your comparison of photos, my work to yours or to another photographer. Such comparisons are pointless and irrelevant to this conversation. I do care that you're continuing to take cheap shots, calling people that you've never met "the lowest common denominator" and generally act like you're justified because you prefer "proper reporting".

1 upvote
Peiasdf
By Peiasdf (Feb 20, 2013)

What is with the downgrade of photography to snapshots? There is no reason why a DSLR/EVIL cannot be used on this trip.

I have an iPhone4 and will within a month upgrade to iPhone5 which has the best camera on the market short of Nokia 808 but I have no delusion that my X-E1 or older D90 and E-PL2 will take better pictures.

1 upvote
KellyBurstow
By KellyBurstow (Feb 20, 2013)

Misho, a privilege to watch you work. You've given me a new appreciation for storytelling through pictures & an insight into how mobile photography can be used to capture beauty in the everyday.

I appreciate the balance you bring out in this article in relation to journalistic photography & the pros and cons of using a mobile camera. I can testify to the discrete nature of the iPhone as a tool for storytelling in India, especially the immediacy: vital for taking the readers along the journey with us.

I respect savvy photographers who have an open mind when it comes to using the right equipment, for the right situation; the photographers who aren't confined by ego. Instead, they hold true to the story & are committed to tell it through images. That is what I respect most about your photography, Misho: there's an openness & honesty which leads to connection & emotion for the viewer. And there’s always an undercurrent of hope: because yes, there is beauty in the everyday, in truth.

3 upvotes
sigala1
By sigala1 (Feb 19, 2013)

Why did the guy have to drop from a full-frame DSLR to a smartphone?

Surely there are many in-between cameras that are small and non-intimidating yet offer much better image quality than a smartphone. My Panasonic LX7, for example, blows away my iPhone, but you can easily hold it one handed.

0 upvotes
Mishobaranovic
By Mishobaranovic (Feb 19, 2013)

Hi, i'm 'the guy'. Not ones that offer an integrated shooting, editing and sharing process. I said I had a DSLR with me, I used both cameras. I'm well aware of the trade-offs.

0 upvotes
sigala1
By sigala1 (Feb 19, 2013)

Apple sells an adapter that lets you take the SD card out of a camera and plug it into an iOS device and then it automatically imports JPEG files.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 21 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Oliver Lang
By Oliver Lang (Feb 20, 2013)

And the SD card adapter is not even the best alternative option! But all these alternatives are still multi-device, and ultimately rely on a mobile phone or tablet for editing, presentation and publishing in real time.

It's simpler and easier to use one device, the image quality is great as you're sharing from a mobile platform to other mobile users (where all images are shared at a lower resolution). That's how this process worked. Points about full resolution image quality are moot as the images were not distributed via online platforms at that size.

Sure you can say what you want about technical differences, but what you're saying isn't relevant to this process.

1 upvote
sigala1
By sigala1 (Feb 20, 2013)

It's easier to use one device sure. But for an extra 60 seconds of work to take the SD card out of a real camera and plut into an iPhone so you can upload the JPEGs to Instagram, you can also have high-quality RAW files to use for other purposes later.

Why not use small but high-quality camera like a Sony RX1?

0 upvotes
Oliver Lang
By Oliver Lang (Feb 20, 2013)

No the time (60 seconds or whatever it is) is not enough reason to abandon this single device process - read my second paragraph again.

Sure RAW is great, eventually we'll have it on a mobile phone - a lossless jpeg is already available, but to have shot with another device - RAW files would have impeded the process, and were unnecessary for the purpose.

I understand the potential of the RAW file for further purposes, but it simply wasn't a relevant element in this process. To some that may seem strange, but in this situation it's just been left behind, but not forgotten.

1 upvote
peterstuckings
By peterstuckings (Feb 19, 2013)

I have to disagree with this whole malarkey about smartphones.
Firstly, smartphones are crap at photography. The image quality is poor, resolution is too low for anything but quick, light, superficial online use. High ISO noise, etc. But forget about all that - the responsiveness is rubbish - it takes whole seconds to shoot sometimes.
Secondly, if it's about social media, I use a 3G iPad with camera connector when I'm on the road shooting stuff in countries like India, & get it online very quickly, but with the added benefit that I've started with a high-res, high quality file, then edited it in any one of a range of high quality photo-editing apps. Simple!
And finally, if a photographer has trouble getting up close & personal with a conventional pro camera like a DSLR, then maybe they're not much of a photographer. Simple again.
So with all due respect to Misho, I'm not convinced that smartphone photography is anything but a gimmick. Gets you in the press these days, that's for sure!

2 upvotes
Mishobaranovic
By Mishobaranovic (Feb 19, 2013)

Hi Peter. World Vision were happy with the photos and your so-called 'superficial online use' was critical for awareness raising of the programs as we travelled.

I'm happy with the resolution, they print well up to A2/A3, they look fine in magazines and yes they share easily online. I'm not sure what kind of phone you have but I can take up to 3 full-res (8mpx) photos a second. There is no noticable lag when shooting.

Why carry an iPad when I can shoot, edit, caption and share on the same device? Kind of defeats the purpose.

And with all due respect, I don't feel like I need a big camera to prove myself as a pro photographer.

So, you may see it as a gimmick but many talented documentary and travel photographers are including it as part of their shooting kit because they are finding certain advantages. For me, it's the immediacy and intimacy that draws me to the technology.

Yes, It does get me in the press, especially when it's a mobile photography site, funny that.

3 upvotes
ajendus
By ajendus (Feb 21, 2013)

So what you're saying is, the camera makes the photographer? Interesting supposition.

I always thought that engaging content and good composition was what photography is all about.

0 upvotes
Oliver Lang
By Oliver Lang (Feb 21, 2013)

See what you're saying is:

"I'm going to take what you said and twisting it into some moronic and completely off topic/point "

ajendus, it would be easier to discuss photography with you if you didn't only twist responses into veiled insults.

Ironically your sarcastic responses are probably pretty satisfying for you to compose, but it's not very engaging content.

1 upvote
Oliver Lang
By Oliver Lang (Feb 19, 2013)

Basically - no, yes, we get it, yes, and then why ask that question?

1 upvote
88SAL
By 88SAL (Feb 19, 2013)

Good to see lively conversation. Im not advocating iPhone as the replacement camera, but I enjoyed this article and its discussion. It may be important to note that smartphones were not up to scratch in 2010. Alot has changed so yes people didnt use them back then. This differs from the other iPhone puff pieces, he isnt using it for a wedding.

2 upvotes
Mishobaranovic
By Mishobaranovic (Feb 19, 2013)

Thanks 88SAL, that was the purpose of the article to show people that it is a useful story-telling tool.

2 upvotes
absentaneous
By absentaneous (Feb 18, 2013)

I don't think iPhone sucks. I mean of course it all depends on what you expect from a photo. I think these images are lacking nothing from the point of their point.

iPhone is quite a real camera because if it wasn't then it wouldn't take pictures. of course these pictures are not as good as pictures some other cameras can produce technically speaking but it's not technical quality what makes a photograph a photograph anyway.

the only problem I see is that some people treat these images as if they were any different from what photography has been about for more than 150 years just because it's about a different tool.

and the introduction to this article says it pretty well: "Smartphone is ideal tool for documentary photography while traveling internationally." smartphones with built in cameras are just photographic tools and not some different kind of photography. I even have a pen ball that can take pictures. so, is that pen ball photography. don't make me laugh.

1 upvote
Oliver Lang
By Oliver Lang (Feb 18, 2013)

The point of difference raised is how these images can engage the audience. The photos alone are not the point. The point is that these images can be edited, processed, contextualised and shared on multiple platforms from the same device. It's all the process of documentary photography in a single device, where images can be shared in real time.

This is the difference. No one is saying that these are more "photograph" than other "photographs" - simply that the use of a mobile phone camera for shooting and sharing (with the right skills) puts it into a category that other cameras do not have the ability to match.

Yes, a mobile phone camera can't do optical zoom but it can connect your images to someone on the other side of the world, almost instantly.

Your pen ball is not an ideal tool for documentary photography -funny idea though.

1 upvote
absentaneous
By absentaneous (Feb 18, 2013)

oh really? the photos alone are not the point? so what is the point? that you use instagram, twitter, facebook, tumblr? that you use wifi? that you look at a cool retina display and tap on it? ha ha... I think you are making a grea mess here. the fact that our social reality changed doesn't mean the point is not in the photo just because we don't look at paper photos or share them in a different way. is like saying communication is not the point anymore just because you use skype instead of written letters.

any why exactly wouldn't my pen ball be good for documentary photography? it actually takes pictures. now you are jumping on the same train of the guy you just criticized.

3 upvotes
Oliver Lang
By Oliver Lang (Feb 18, 2013)

I think you understood what I said, but then you've gone off track with some broad sweeping comments about society and photographs. Photography is the point, but the photograph alone is not the point.

If a photograph is taken, and no-one sees it, does the mime in the woods with the tree on it care?

The ball pen question is getting funnier though.

1 upvote
javidog
By javidog (Feb 19, 2013)

Exactly Oliver, the poster is not articulate to begin with and loses any proper analysis by going into a random tangent. Exactly which image "are not as good as pictures some other cameras can produce technically speaking"? I would love for you to point it out. No one is implying that 150 years of photography is being discarded because of mobile photography. Just accept these images as they are: another tool for documenting a trip or people or lanscapes or an event.
Every time a mobile article is posted it is the same song and dance from these haters. It is getting old already. You cannot possibly be proud of your pen example.

1 upvote
absentaneous
By absentaneous (Feb 19, 2013)

oliver, you keep avoiding to provide arguments for what you are saying. what does it mean photography is the point but not the photograph alone? what exactly is photography without a photograph? it's like saying sex counts but not the intercourse. it's nonsense.

javidog, are you serious? are you claiming an iPhone picture is technically speaking as good as I lets say pictures a large format film camera can produce or a even any DSLR can produce? then I would really like to hear why do you think studio photographers don't use iphones? just to name one example. second thing is that obviously you didn't even understand what I wrote. typical. please read my comment again then reply with something that make sense. just one passage from what I wrote: "I don't think iPhone sucks. I mean of course it all depends on what you expect from a photo. I think these images are lacking nothing from the point of their point." so, how am I not accepting these images as they are? go figure!

0 upvotes
Mishobaranovic
By Mishobaranovic (Feb 19, 2013)

Hi Absentaneous, all I was doing was showing people that a smartphone can be a useful tool as part of a photographers toolkit. I'm not dismissing or devaluing non-mobile images.

Personally, the shoot/edit/share integration has been critical in my development as a photographer. It just works for me.

0 upvotes
Oliver Lang
By Oliver Lang (Feb 19, 2013)

What I've said IS my argument, so it appears that you're avoiding comprehending it. I didn't say anything about photography without the photograph, so the nonsense is all of your own creation.

0 upvotes
WellyNZ
By WellyNZ (Feb 18, 2013)

In before:

* This story wouldn't be published if it wasn't about an iPhone!
* He should have taken a m4/3s or another compact camera. The iPhone sucks!
* How much did Apple pay you for this?
* The iPhone isn't a real camera!
* Why do I keep getting these mobile phone stories in my RSS feed?
* Does DPR write stories about real cameras anymore?
* Miscellaneous other rants about iPhones not being real cameras
* Miscellaneous other rants about him not taking a DSLR on his travels

Have I missed any?

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
4 upvotes
Oliver Lang
By Oliver Lang (Feb 18, 2013)

I think you can change the preferences in your RSS feed if you're not interested in connect.dpreview.

The rest of your views are simply factually incorrect.
Firstly, nothing was paid for by Apple, this was a World Vision initiative/awareness campaign.

Thousands of people from all around the world followed Misho's images from India, where he documented the World Vision programs with several other bloggers as a part of an awareness campaign.

The real question is when will people like you be curious about the way these devices can be used to share images, and stop clinging to your DSLRs like some sort of life raft.

The iPhone, Android and Windows phone cameras will not get off your damn lawn.

If you read the article he DID take his DSLR, which he DID use. But to shoot and share the journey in real time with quality context a DSLR was not the right photographic tool.

It's ok though, don't be scared! You're still a photographer if you use a DSLR.

1 upvote
absentaneous
By absentaneous (Feb 18, 2013)

interesting. are you the same mr. lang who disagreed with me that taking pictures with a "mobile" device is in the end still just photography yet here you say someone using a DSLR is not in any way some different kind of photographer than the one using a "mobile" device? how come suddenly it doesn't matter that a dslr is a completely different tool from an iPhone for example? so, based on your logic you shouldn't call him a photographer but a DSLR photographer which is something completely different from a compact camera photographer, m34 photographer, pinhole photographer, polaroid photographer, etc. or is it?

0 upvotes
Oliver Lang
By Oliver Lang (Feb 18, 2013)

Nope, it's all photography. What you can do depends on the device.

I have never once said anything about names. What I'm saying does not "logically" imply anything about naming or classification.

I continually refer to purpose. Purpose and the abilities of the device, combined with the capability of the photographer will give you the point of difference.

1 upvote
absentaneous
By absentaneous (Feb 18, 2013)

you need to make a distinction between photography and the way it is applied in today's reality. the way it is shared, used, understood... photography is still about "...practice of creating durable images by recording light or other electromagnetic radiation, either chemically by means of a light-sensitive material such as photographic film, or electronically by means of an image sensor." that haven't changed. the only thing that changed is the social and technological context. these are two different things.

0 upvotes
Oliver Lang
By Oliver Lang (Feb 19, 2013)

Why do I need to make a distinction? I said it's all photography. I'm agreeing with you.

I've made my distinctions. Purpose, device, abilities and capabilities.

That's the point of this article, it's what Misho has done. Travelled to India, shared quality images of development work with thousands of people, with clear context, from a mobile phone in real time.

If you want to talk about "today's reality", then look up at the images and the article above. They're very real.

1 upvote
Daniel K Berman
By Daniel K Berman (Feb 19, 2013)

Great points Oliver - why is it so hard for some people to understand that we use different tools for different purposes? I don't use my iPhone in my studio with strobes - likewise, I don't use my 5D if the task at hand calls for the convenience of shooting/processing/transmitting in near instantaneous real-time. None of these things are mutually exclusive. The category and utility of mobile isn't going away, it's real. Just ask Ben Lowy, Ed Kashi and any number of world-renowned photographers who aren't afraid to accept that yes, indeed, mobile is different. It verges on the irrational - folks, you can't wish this stuff away just because it hurts your brain to accept it.

Besides yet another digression about whether mobile is real or not...these images are fantastic. Misho, thanks for sharing - the project is a brilliant one and the pictures tell a great story.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 8 minutes after posting
1 upvote
javidog
By javidog (Feb 19, 2013)

I just do not get these haters. The genius above said "the iPhone sucks!" as if he were a 6th grader. You know what? My next door neighbor said "the 5D sucks!" because he only shoots Nikon. And the guy across the street says "Nikon sucks--Canon all the way dude!!" And here we are...running around in circles with these haters. Just shut up and shoot your own stuff. If you really want to make a point, show us a link to your photography and I will use my experience as a DOP to break your best shots down. What will that prove since this is all subjective anyway? And for most of us it is just a fun way to spend our time.

1 upvote
WellyNZ
By WellyNZ (Feb 19, 2013)

@Oliver Lang, @javidog,

I think you both missed the context of my comment. It was my (vaguely) humourous attempt to get all the usual DPR comments regarding anything related to the iPhone out of the way in one shot.

Apparently I failed, because you both missed it.

Me, I'm a film photographer (large format and 35mm). That's just my choice. At the end of the day it is all about the end result (although I prefer working in a darkroom to working in front of a computer) and you pick your tool to suit the task.

An iPhone it seems was perfectly suitable for the project in the article although I'm a little disappointed in the lack of the usual naysayers casting derision on the photographer for using an Apple product.

0 upvotes
javidog
By javidog (Feb 19, 2013)

Sorry @wellyNZ. Misunderstood you but now I hear you loud and clear. ;)

0 upvotes
Oliver Lang
By Oliver Lang (Feb 19, 2013)

Apologies mate, missed the subtlety. Cheers for the clarification.

0 upvotes
absentaneous
By absentaneous (Feb 19, 2013)

oliver, the point is he could have done the same thing using his DSLR, or even a "ball pen camera" or even a film camera since that's how these things have been done for more than a century. of course the technical aspect would be different but the point of the photograph and the point of taking a photograph is still the same as it was 100 years ago - documenting things.

while you are trying to make a point that the whole point of photography has changed just because one day film cameras were used and the other day an iphone was used. that didn't change anything. what changed is how it is achieved in a purely technological sense not the point, purpose and meaning of achieving it. that's what I am trying to point out and you people doesn't seem to understand. because I would really want to know how would it be different if he used a more traditional camera? would his picture have a different meaning? a different point? a different reason for being taken? I guess not.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Mishobaranovic
By Mishobaranovic (Feb 19, 2013)

Yes I could have taken pictures with another camera. What I was trying to share with people were the advantages of having an integrated capture/edit/share device. This integration is new, and it's already profoundly changing how we all make, consume and value photographs.

Comment edited 15 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
JuergenF
By JuergenF (Feb 19, 2013)

Thank you for sharing this Misho. I have to say that I'm impressed. Not even that long ago I used to be one of those folks who would say that shooting with an Iphone (or any smart phone for that matter), has just far too many cons and isn't worth it. I have to say that my opinion has drastically changed after I started to do my research. Let's face it, 9 out of 10 people using smart phones never print anything and if they do, it's at postcard size only. No one needs an expensive camera for that. If I edit my photos the traditional way in Photoshop and make small prints, they are pretty much indistinguishable from large sensor cameras. I'm now sold on smartphones for my day-to-day photography and I kind of regard them as a 21st century brownie; a small device which takes very reasonable photos that one can carry with him at every moment.

3 upvotes
Mishobaranovic
By Mishobaranovic (Feb 19, 2013)

Thanks for the kind words Juergen. I'm glad that the phone has made it's way into your shooting kit. A modern day brownie is a nice way to look at it.

1 upvote
Bo Gray
By Bo Gray (Feb 27, 2013)

Hello Misho...count me in with Juergen on all points. I enjoyed looking at your photos and reading the story of your journey and how it all came together. I have come to many of the same conclusions about using smartphones to shoot/edit/share from one platform...although I am still getting to grips with including one in my own kit.

And I absolutely love Juergen's description of a smartphone as a 21st century brownie. Keep up the great work!

2 upvotes
simon boughton
By simon boughton (Mar 29, 2013)

Great project here, I went to India last year and took two camera's with prime lenses and got some amazing shot's, one of my little projects is where I took pictures of people taking pictures of me and it was a great laugh as we would compare shots after, next time I will take my smartphone.
most photographers visiting walk around with their big lenses snapping away with no interactions with the local people and they are not having a true india experience as the people make the country... That's what makes this project real as he's spent time with the people.

1 upvote
shafiur
By shafiur (Aug 28, 2013)

Misho, I am all for this "21st century brownie!" I am a documentary film maker and recently i have spent quite a bit of time in Dhaka, Bangladesh. I live in a posh part of town but of course poverty is everywhere. I started snapping the beggars in my area having got to know them a bit during my daily walks. No way could I have got away with using a DSLR. Using my Galaxy Note 2 enabled me to chat to them and photograph them without being seen as a journo wanting to sell their pics - a common suspicion levelled at journos in Dhaka. You are right about unflattering close-ups. However for my purpose this worked. Disabilities and any type of deformity or disfigurement is used to elicit pity or convey the raison d'etre for begging. These also offend the middle classes in their 4x4s and so they are quick to part with their money to make these people invisible when waiting at the traffic lights. Anyway if you have time, please look at http://banani.sixoranges.net

0 upvotes
Total comments: 55
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