'Red bellied black' - Sydney city, 2015.

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What do you shoot on?: Currently I use an iPhone SE, but much of my work was shot on both the 5s and before that, the 4. Otherwise I use a small range of cameras, from a Nikon dslr to a small Olympus EM­5 micro 4/3. It all depends on what my purpose is as to which I will use.

When did you start smartphone photography?: I initially found my way into photography through my phone, an iPhone 4 back in 2012.

Which social media platform do you prefer for sharing your work?: This is hard. Until recently my preferred platform was far and away Flickr. I still really like the architecture and community of Flickr and how that architecture supports and allows for much greater relationship building with people. However it feels like Flickr is dying somewhat at the moment, while Instagram just goes from strength to strength and is nowadays a much more vibrant place.

What photography apps would you recommend?: Although I've dabbled with a few over the years, I really only use the Hipstamatic app. I rarely edit my shots but when I do I mostly use Snapseed and occasionally PhotoToaster.

What editing software is the best value?: You can't go past Snapseed. One of the very best and it's free.

How has smartphone photography been received by the industry overall?: I think that there has been a really mixed response. Unfortunately for a long time one of the main barriers to entry for photography was managing to get your hands on the equipment. Because of this many in the industry have had a really negative response to the sheer number of people now involved in photography and have consequently dismissed anything taken on a mobile as somehow not photography. But your phone is just another camera. I think until recently the general attitude was as I said just above with the exceptions to this largely being seen as a bit of a novelty. But as more and more people start taking great work with their phones and as phones get somewhat better at it, I think that antipathy is dissolving.

What are the challenges with shooting with your phone?: The challenges are mostly around the restrictions associated with having such a tiny lens, detail and depth of field etc. Otherwise, the speed with which the battery dies if you're not regularly letting the phone go off is a hurdle.

Name your favourite things about this kind of photography?: The ease and discretion. You always have your phone on you, well almost always. It's super light compared to almost any other type of camera and it is super discreet. Being able to take photos of scenes without drawing any attention to oneself is very useful in many instances.

What has caused the biggest shift in mobile photography in the last few years?: The improvement in lenses and sensor technology and the fading of the novelty of it all. I think that more and more people are starting to realise it is just another type of camera and as long as the images captured with it do what they need to, there's no problem. Influencing that it is increasingly common for images to only even be seen on computer screens of one kind or another, including much editorial and professional work. The resolution needed for this type of viewing is so much less and so the difference between a full dslr and a phone becomes less.

Where do you see smartphone photography going in the future?: To return to a theme. I think that it will just become another tool/camera among others. They are useful for many purposes from discreet street work to being able to process your images on the go if needed to being used like Polaroids often were in decades past, to conduct test shots quickly before starting a shoot. Smartphone photography will just start to be regarded as photography.

claire byrneComment