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Are photos taken with iPhone works of art?

Updated on July 14, 2013

I was browsing a discussion board a whole back looking for interesting topics to write about and found a very interesting discussion that no one had commented on. The question was if a photo taken on your iPhone (I guess it can be applied to any mobile phone) could be considered a work of art. It is a little funny that we have reached the point in society where street photography is so popular and most of these photographers made it big using their iPhones and apps like Instagram. There is even an entire site dedicated to iPhone photographers.

“It’s not the camera that takes the picture”

What I was always told in my photography classes was that its not the camera that takes the picture. I can’t count the number of people who come to me and ask all the time for me to look at a camera for them and tell them if they should get it, if I think that its a “good” camera. It’s not that simple, it depends on what you are planning on using it for, will you be taking care of it or are you just using it to just say “I’m a photographer I have this fancy camera.”

Does having all these extra features make you the next big photographer?

Probably not.

If you are the person who wants to just say I’m a photographer because I have this fancy camera then you are the person who should be sticking to you iPhone . The big fancy camera just might not be worth the investment. The truth is with the new technologies coming out on the cell phones, most top of the line smart phones shoot almost as well as your basic point and shoot cameras; not to mention all the apps that can “enhance” your photos or add all kinds of effects.

Having said that going back to the original question, can it be consider a piece of art? I do believe that it can. I have a few pictures that were taken on my Motorola Atrix 4G (granted its not an iPhone) that if the quality is good enough I would consider printing it an putting it up on a wall. But the most important thing that you have to keep in mind is that its not all about the camera. Yes a better camera will take a higher quality picture and does much more fancy stuff than just shooting at a single shutter speed but its the artistic eye of the photographer that makes it a work of art.


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