Exposed!! :: iPhone-ography – New Photo Challenges

Call me slow if you’d like, but I’ve never been an early adopter of new technology.

I bought my first digital camera well after most others and it took until last week for me to jump into the world of smartphones with an iPhone. And the challenges of new technology opened up some interesting doors.

In this month’s Exposed! photo newsletter we explore what new challenges will do for you and your photography.

iPhone photo - © Blair Gable

iPhone photography – © Blair Gable

New technology has always made me weary. Bugs, expense and quick, early obsolescence have kept me from paying for ‘bleeding’ edge technology. I usually buy in a few generations after initial release and am often amazed at the power available in the refined new technology.

For this iPhone leap I was gently pushed by web developer Mountain Mamma as we discussed some branding, promotion & social media strategies… Tanya said “You’ve gotta get an iPhone…”

And so I did.

There’ve been some wow moments and some $#**#@! frustrations as I learn the ways of the iPhone. There are three insights I am experiencing as I climb the learning curve of this new photo technology platform:

1.The ease with which I can shoot and post.
I am a photographer. I LOVE creating beautiful, perfect imagery. But when I create beautiful work-related photos everything takes TIME. Creative process, photo creation, development/processing, archiving, and final use takes a long time to execute well.

I was falling behind (and not loving shooting) for the fast world of social media photo promotion. I shot my first photos with my new iPhone last week and they posted effortlessly to Facebook. Yes, I like it!

iPhone photography

My first attempts at iPhone photography ©

2. Learning as a relative beginner again helps me help our photo students.
Learning the iPhone has not been all flowers and smiles. I was never a quick learner and I get frustrated easily. My wife can attest to that!

But I am a good photographer and making excellent photos, while hard work, is an fun and relatively easy process for me.

Not all of our photo students see it that way!!

Photography is difficult. And being reminded how tough a new photo technology and platform can be (grrrr!!!) gives me insight into how tough it is to learn traditional photography… which confirms my need to find easier, more simple ways to explain complex photo ideas and concepts.

Every teacher should be asked to learn something brand new to them!

iPhone photo - © Blair Gable

iPhone photo – © Blair Gable

3. New platforms/challenges lead to breakthroughs
Experts get in grooves and produce efficient, excellent work whether they are engineers or photographers or basketball superstars. To ensure excellence, experts develop routines and processes that they adhere to. But while these developed routines lead to ‘guaranteed’ successes, they also limit creativity because they do not allow for the luxury of mistakes in the creative process.

It’s often a newbie or outsider that develops a breakthrough idea. Not confined by the bounds of perfection a beginner explores, plays and make mistakes to progress. And it’s the luxury of that playful exploration that can lead to new, brilliant ideas.

So for me, the iPhone brings an opportunity to explore, make mistakes and allow fun things to happen. That’s exciting for me – I’ll be producing some crappy photos but that will allow for breakthroughs!

iPhone photo - © Blair Gable

iPhone photo – © Blair Gable – Ottawa 67s hockey

The first camera I loved was the Nikon FM2. It was the first camera I bought with work in mind back in the early 90s. It had three variables to adjust – aperture, shutter speed and iso. It was simple but highlighted photography’s essential elements.

With the iPhone I cannot control any of the variables. I just point, shoot and, maybe process with some apps. It is forcing me to shoot differently – to adjust for the failings of an “auto” camera. It’s fun because there are no consequences for mistakes at this point. The mistakes are important – as they help me learn.

And learning is so important in the progression of any skill at any level. Ahem, I am taking an iPhone photography course with Blair Gable who is using his iPhone as part of his photojournalism and wedding work. Like many students I am a little nervous and excited!

iPhone photo - © Blair Gable

iPhone photo – © Blair Gable – iPhone photojournalism on Parliament Hill.

Try something brand new in photography.
Whether it’s an iPhone or mechanical, simple film camera like the Nikon FM2, push yourself with a new challenge to jumpstart a new creative breakthrough.

Final Frame
Take Photos.
Have fun.
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