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Smartphones and Street Photography

Discussion in 'Smartphone photography' started by Jeff Lee, Jul 31, 2021.

  1. Jeff Lee

    Jeff Lee Member

    zx9r and Zou like this.
  2. EightBitTony

    EightBitTony Well-Known Member

    Again, I don't think anyone on this forum is generally dismissive of the use of smartphones for photography, and mostly it's people just assuming they will be. Anyway, thanks for posting the link.
  3. Andrew Flannigan

    Andrew Flannigan Well-Known Member

    Can't see why it matters what you use if it works for you. I'll admit that I find using a smart phone quite challenging because the ones I've tried are hard to handle as a camera.

    On the other hand, an iPad or other tablet can be fun to use...

    iPad in hand camera TZ70 P1030655.JPG
  4. ptermx

    ptermx Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the link, Jeff. I wasn't previously one of the 95,000 but I am now. Eric Mencher does make some very good photos. That he does it all with an iPhone is a useful reminder that I have a pretty good camera with me all the time (a mere Samsung in my case, but never mind). Being somewhat over-supplied with cameras, I have neglected the one in my phone. Of course, I don't believe for one moment that switching to that is going to get me 95,000 insta followers, a "World Press Photo prize" (whatever that is) or a petapixel feature. I'm sure I can be just as bad using the phone as the cameras.
    While I was at petapixel, I followed their clickbait to this article by James Maher, which amused me somewhat.
    EightBitTony likes this.
  5. EightBitTony

    EightBitTony Well-Known Member

    Guess I'm stuck somewhere between #5 and #6.
  6. beatnik69

    beatnik69 Well-Known Member

    As long as you aren't stuck between 4 and 5 :eek:;)
  7. Chester AP

    Chester AP Well-Known Member

    The pictures are interesting, and he has made very good use of the technology, but I suspect he processes them look like there were not taken by an iPhone. The benefit must be that most subjects will ignore somebody with an iPhone because devices like this are so common, whereas a camera will draw attention.

    Also, perhaps he's an iPhone Travel Photographer rather than an iPhone Street Photographer.

    The quote 'The iPhone is to me, a poor man’s Leica' make me curious about his definition of 'poor'. These devices are not cheap.
  8. SXH

    SXH Well-Known Member

    Whenever I see a phone being advertised and doing something wonderful (like taking pictures in the dark), there is always a line of small print at the bottom of the screen saying something like "Additional hardware and software needed"...
  9. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    IPhones depreciate much faster than Leicas.
    zx9r likes this.
  10. dream_police

    dream_police Well-Known Member

    Leicas are pretty crap at making phone calls and texting though.
    MJB and Andrew Flannigan like this.
  11. Jeff Lee

    Jeff Lee Member

    I didn not say anyone in this forum would be dismissive.
  12. Jeff Lee

    Jeff Lee Member

    Sure. It's an aspect of the access that smartphones offer. I've seen a YouTube street photographer get hassled by security guards and complain that people with smartphones aren't getting told to stop their photography. Maybe a viable tactic is to nod in agreement, put the camera away, and then pull a phone out and start photographing alongside phone users?
    zx9r likes this.
  13. Jeff Lee

    Jeff Lee Member

    He does say that visual opportunity is key for him. There's a simplicity to using something that everybody else has also got. Yet despite blending in, his usage has photographic agenda that few users have. So perhaps there's a camouflage to it all. Not getting in the way of opportunities that conspicuous gear might inhibit.
    Cake88 likes this.
  14. ptermx

    ptermx Well-Known Member

    Coincidentally, I just spent an hour wandering the streets of Perth photographing complete strangers from distances of ~10-20 feet using a 35mm film SLR with a fairly audible shutter. The streets were populated, but not crowded, yet not a single one of the people I photographed reacted to me or showed any visible sign of changing their behaviour because I was photographing them. I haven't developed the photos yet, so I don't know if they're any good, but I see no reason to believe I'd have done any better using my phone.
    Phones definitely do have advantages over dedicated cameras (especially a film SLR) with regard to convenience, but I think the "blending in" advantage is overstated. People using their phone to take photos usually hold it in a way that makes it pretty obvious what they're doing anyway.
  15. Andrew Flannigan

    Andrew Flannigan Well-Known Member

    In the days when twin lens reflexes were common, it was surprisingly easy to get candid shots. The commonest method was to hang the camera around your neck so you could see the finder by glancing down. If held the camera with your right hand on the shutter release, no one would notice when you gently squeezed the button.

    You can do the same thing today with a small camera that has a tilting screen - and you have the extra advantage of autofocus.
  16. Petrochemist

    Petrochemist Well-Known Member

    I don't really shoot street, but I have to admit to #6
    I added 4 photo books to my collection in the last week & it turned out I already had 2 of them :(
    Zou likes this.
  17. SXH

    SXH Well-Known Member

    I used to do that with CDs when we had a branch of MVC. I think it's a sign that you have too many of whatever they are... :oops:
  18. Petrochemist

    Petrochemist Well-Known Member

    No, can't be that I've got quite a bit less than 500! :rolleyes:
    Needing to make a snap decision while going round a boot sale was certainly a contributing factor, at 50p each it wasn't worth checking carefully.
    SXH likes this.
  19. zx9r

    zx9r Well-Known Member

    I first hit #5 in the early 90's, it took me about ten years to get out of the rut, a rut which I fall back into on a seven year cycle.
  20. pixelpuffin

    pixelpuffin Well-Known Member

    I almost burst out laughing when I followed the link
    LOL, he’s plagiarised HCB work. Every shot is a clone of a HCB shot. The boys in the water pic had my howling.
    Not impressed in the slightest. I agree smartphones come into their own for streetwork - they are practically invisible!! But the pictures in that link scream HCB, I’m embarrassed for Mencher, surprised he’s got away with it, speaks much of his ignorant 95k followers too!!
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2021

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