Smartphone Photography: A Darkroom In Your Pocket

17 02 2012

As a well known photography adage goes, the best camera is the one that’s with you. And with skyrocketing  smartphone usage, many of us have come to realise the accessibility, sociability and endless possibilities of smartphone photography.

Here are some tips I picked up from five of Hong Kong’s best smartphone-photographers at last night’s “Getting Social With Smartphone Photography” panel.





1. Every little moment can be awesomised.

by @mochachocolatarita

We might not notice it, but no matter where we are, fascinating stories and captivating moments abound.

Even if something appears to be tediously mediocre, what photographers have to remember is that every little moment can be awesomised. There’s always a story, no matter how dull it seems. (Thanks to panelist Rita Suttarno for this timeless tip).


2. The iPhone puts a darkroom in your pocket.

by @twheat

And that’s why you should take a lot of photos and let your photographic passions run wild. Tyson Wheatley, a CNN editor by profession but really an iPhoneography/Instagram-crazy photographer, has taken so many photos on his iPhone over the past year that he now sees the world “through filters”. For him, iPhoneography has brought the city of Hong Kong alive and allowed him to discover the hidden beauties of this bustling city. Quite simply, he says, “It’s changed my life”. So, go take a lot of photos, get close to your subject,  experiment with apps – and most importantly, take advantage of your own pocket sized darkroom!




3. iPhone photography is NOT fake.

There are some who may think that iPhone photography is not ‘real photography’ (whatever that means), but Lester Lim certainly disagrees. What is ‘real photography’ anyway – aren’t all photos, to strip them to the bare minimum, a manipulation of light?

I was interested to see what Tyson, coming from a journalistic background as a CNN editor, thought of the impact of smartphone photography on citizen journalism. Would the heavy use of filters and editing distort the transparency and democratic nature of citizen journalism? “I suppose yes. But editing of images is not new, and the key for news organisations is to be transparent in the vetting process”.

4. Have patience to capture the moment.

Jason Tse wants you to tell a story within the confines of that little photographic frame. Photography, to him, is capturing

by @jasonbonvivant

something that you want to express, and often, patience is the prime ingredient. He willingly puts life on hold just to get the perfect photo, frequently missing tram stops to capture, create and express!

5. Capture the details.

Vilja Sormunen(the only non-iPhone photographer on the panel), reminds us to look out for details, and use your smartphone

camera as an extension of your memory. With so much information flowing in and out every single second, this tip will surely come in useful for years to come.




One response

17 02 2012
#SMWHK 12, 4th Day: Getting Social with Smartphone Photography » Hong Kong

[…] of our contributing bloggers: Mary Hui attended “Getting Social with Smartphone Photography” yesterday and came up with some […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: