15 Smartphone Photos That Prove You Don't Need a Camera to be a Photographer
In a short space of time, smartphone photography has come a long way.
Considering that the smartphone is still a fairly new invention (who else remembers their very first Nokia?!), it's almost alarming hoe quickly it's turned into an essential item for many of us, both young and old.
The impact smartphones have had on photography alone is overwhelming.
I grew up in the 90s (not that long ago!), and I remember my parents buying multiple disposable cameras for family holidays and birthdays. Neither of my parents would consider themselves as 'photographers', which is why they didn't own a SLR. However, they did treasure photography as a way of capturing memories.
But there were two problems with disposable cameras:
- They could only be used once - and produced a fixed, limited amount of photos.
- You had to pay to have the film developed by a professional, and had no way of viewing your photos until they had been developed and printed.
These limitations meant that my siblings and I were never allowed to use the camera ourselves, for fear of 'wasting' valuable film. It also meant that over the years, rolls of used film would lie undeveloped and gathering dust, with my parents simply forgetting to get them printed.
All of that had changed with the development of digital cameras and smartphones. When I got my first camera phone - the Motorola V300 - I was amazed.
I'd never been able to take my own photos before, and now I could take as many as I wanted (until the memory was full!) and view them instantly on the small mobile screen.
This story will be familiar to many of you, but we often underestimate the significance of it. Think about how many photos you have on your smartphone and social media accounts... is it hundred? Or even thousands?
Without your smartphone, the vast majority of those photos you own would probably (definitely!) never have been taken. They simply wouldn't exist.
And what's more, smartphone photography is continually improving. The following photographs were all taken on smartphones, proving that the capabilities of smartphone photography is now equal to that of expensive digital cameras! you don't need an expensive camera to take stunning photographs.
1. Nat Geo Inspired on iPod Touch
"I was watching National Geographic when I looked out and saw the garden was in a shade of orange. It had been heavily raining that day and it had lightened out for the evening. I immediately raced out onto the roof (I can do that in my house) and saw the whole sky was in a deep shade of red. I immediately took out my iPod Touch 5G and took this photo. I had to go back in cause it started raining again :P Anyways I don't know the ISO or exposure or anything of my iPod. I edited it using VSCOcam photo editing app." - Movanu Shafeeq
2. Snowflake on iPhone 4
"A few days ago I woke up and noticed it was snowing. I got so excited so I found my olloclip lens and went outside. I used the macro lends to capture this snowflake. It took a few times but this one was my favourite. I then used the Afterlight app to edit my photo. This was taken on an iPhone 4." - Molly Ryan
3. Forest on Galaxy S6
German Instagrammer @daniel_rockafox shares a number of stunning photos captured on his Galaxy S6, including this beautiful forest shot.
4. Orange & Blue on Nokia N95
"There is no blue without yellow and without orange." - Nattu
This photo won The Nokia Creative N95 User Group Awards for BEST COLOUR in 2008.
5. Light Painting on Acer Neotouch S200
"No apps or post pro used. Since my phone does not have a great camera (read terrible), I decided to make use of it's crappiness. I put the anti-shake on and took a few shots from the balcony of my place at night, doing a little light painting with the street/other lights dotted around the burb." - Nathan Cunningham
6. Grand Prize Winner - Photographer of the Year (iPhone Photography Awards 2016)
"The brave and wise Khalkhas live along the mountains in the south of Xinjiang and are companions with the eagles. They regard eagles as their children and train them for many years to hunt.
This 70 year old man is rigid and solemn in front of family and friends, but when he is with his beloved eagle, the corner of his mouth would curve up. When the eagles reach mating age, although he is very reluctant, the man releases the eagles back into nature so that they can thrive. A mild heart and exquisite love are covered by this weather-beaten face. He is a tough man with a tender heart." - Siyuan Niu
7. Splash in the Lake on Nokia Lumia 1020
This striking capture of colours and contrast was shot on a Nokia Lumia 1020.
8. View from Ayasofya on iPhone 5
This well-composed shot was taken in Instanbul, Turkey on an iPhone 5.
9. Shortlist, Mobile Phone Category (Sony World Photography Awards)
Shot by Russian photographer Olga Nazarova.
10. Bubble on Samsung Pixon
"The picture was taken in 'vintage mode' with the exposure dialed down a few notches. I was standing outside, trying to find something I could possibly use, when my daughter came outside wanting to blow bubbles. We had previously been out in the pool together and I had earlier hung our bathing suits outside to dry. As we were playing, a good sized bubble found its way into the puddle that had been left behind on the railing, so I pulled out my phone, quickly toggled a few settings, and this is what I got!" - Joe Testman
11. Shortlist, Mobile Photo Category (Sony World Photography Awards)
Gerard Tang, France - 2015 Mobile Photo Category, Sony World Photography Awards (Shortlist)
12. Kim Hanskamp on iPhone
This image by Kim Hanskamp won first place in the People category for 2013's iPhone Photography Awards
13. Janos M Schmidt on iPhone
This photo by Janos M Schmidt came 2nd place in the Mobile Phone Category of the 2015 Sony World Photography Awards.
14. New York Giants on iPhone
David Maialetti, a Philadelphia-based journalist, uses an iPhone to capture all of the stunning images in his Instagram feed.
15. Fashion Shoot on iPhone 6S
Photographer Aaron Browning turned up to do a portrait shoot with a model, only to discover his camera wasn't working. Instead, he decided to shoot in RAW with his iPhone 6S, and managed to pull it off.
Want to up your own smartphone photography game? Read our previous post, How to Take Better Photos on Your Smartphone, for some tips.