The reluctant smartphone photographer

Billions of people around the world use a smartphone. That means billions of people have a camera with them most of the time. 

It’s no surprise that smartphone photography has taken over as an easy way to capture and share moments from our everyday lives.

And some photographers have attained great artistry with ‘just’ a phone camera. 

But I have a problem with using my phone as a camera. It’s a very mid-range Samsung which is made for using the internet, apps and keeping in touch. That’s where it ends.


That’s me in my comfort zone, viewfinder to eye (Photo: Dale Langford)

I’ve chosen to stick with my ‘proper’ camera, a Fuji X-E1 which I’ve used for a decade now and performs how I want it to. 

Here’s the crucial thing: it feels very natural to lift my camera to my eye and use the viewfinder, while my grip is secure and steady.

Peering through a smartphone screen to make the same decisions about a photograph is almost impossible. 

However, I’m trying to incorporate a little more smartphone camera use into my life. It’s starting to become handy for local snapshots and when it’s the only camera to hand. The results have created material for Instagram Stories, so they’re short-lived and maybe less valuable.

I’m acquiring a collection of pictures in portrait format that fill that screen, but they are in little danger of pushing my usual photographs out of the way.

Tap/click first image to see gallery

But at least these shots are minimally edited and can see the light of day instantly – a far cry from my usual workflow which is much slower and carefully nurtured. 

My camera isn’t in danger of being sidelined any time soon. It’s the workhorse of my operation, making me feel much more comfortable and confident in what I can achieve.  

Like the rest of the world, the smartphone camera is always with me and is beginning to be used in a limited way, somewhat reluctantly. 

I’d like to hear from other old school photographers out there who must feel the same? Or do you only use your phone? Please leave your comment below

Link to mikeosbornphoto's Instagram account

6 thoughts on “The reluctant smartphone photographer

  1. Love the Formby Beach one. And wow – wish my phone took pics like that. I have an iPhone 5SE which takes horrible pictures that need to be heavily edited to be presentable, so I usually think “what’s the point”. I envy people with great phone cameras a little because you do have your phone with you all the time as opposed to a DSLR; but like you I need to lead my camera to my eye and look through that viewfinder…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes! It’s the viewfinder thing that gets me the most. The phone screen just doesn’t cut it. And how do these phone artists edit their photos? I need to sit at a laptop to do that properly. So much to chew over!


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