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Published April 14th, 2012

There are plenty of good reasons to not use the iPhone for photography: The image quality is mediocre, depth of field is only achievable when you are very close to an object, colors appear in a total different matter compared to what they look like in reality and the lens is not exchangeable. This list could be continued endlessly.

Apart from that there are three very good reasons why using the iPhone for taking pictures is a brilliant idea:
1.) It fits into your pocket
2.) You take it with you (almost) everywhere you go
3.) The limited capabilities

While the first two reasons appear to be good reasons to do photos with the iPhone my third reason may appear a bit stupid. I will try to explain why I do think that limited capabilities are a good reason to use a tool.

As a non-professional photographer I don't have to take care about image quality. As a matter of fact I do have the privilege to totally don't have to care what other people think about my photos. Even if people hated my photos it wouldn't stop me from making photos. I guess as a professional photographer you can't do like this, because if you had to earn money with photography you would have to satisfy a market that has certain demands and requirements and most of the photographers that I do know are not primarily making free art, but are trying to deliver the best pictures according to customer's requirement and this makes them taking care quite a lot of image quality which can be qualified as resolution, sharpness or color correctness. Of course they can't provide iPhone photos in their job, because they simply wouldn't get any further jobs from the client.

As I already mentioned I don't have to worry about quality, because I don't have to earn money with my photos, but just want to show them to other people and hear their opinions. Of course I also do want to develop and make "better" pictures and the iPhone offers me a great opportunity for doing so. When I do use my DSLR I sometimes act a bit like a professional photographer, because I do care about resolution, sharpness, colors and other things and I tend to focus on these characteristics - and I must admit I also do this because mediocre quality is not accepted by other photographers and even as a non-professional I don't want to be perceived as a bad photographer. Therefore I sometimes waste a lot of time with making hundreds of pictures, sorting them out and editing them. From a technical point of view this adds a lot of value to most of the pictures, but from a creative point of view it is very dangerous to focus onto technical aspects while doing photography, because it is very easy to just "perfectionize" photos. I guess this also makes a difference between a real professional photographer and a non-professional photographer: The professional does have a lot of experience also with regards to the technical features of his or hers camera and image processing so that the danger to get lost in the search for perfect image quality is quite a bit lower.

Doing photos with the iPhone is a very creative process for me, because no matter what I do - I will never ever be able to get a perfect quality picture. The iPhone's camera is not a DSLR and there is no way of getting close with the results. Even if you spent hours of time with post processing there would be still a recognizable difference. Besides this fact the iPhone has a fixed focal length lens which can't be changed, so you do have to deal with it. The only chance to change the appearing focal length is to crop or use the digital zoom, which is basically doing the same, but doing this will lead you to even worse image quality.

When I do use the iPhone for taking photos it is all about the composition and the creative use of colors and effects. Apps like Camera+, TiltShift, PhotoForge2 or Pro HDR are giving me the possibility to do plenty of manipulations on the taken images. There is only one rule when I do iPhonography: I never ever do edit the pictures on any other device but the iPhone. This may sound a bit dogmatic, but it is part of my process of taking non-perfect pictures. When you do have a 27 inch screen it is very easy to remove flaws from a picture or tune and tweak each bit of the photo, but on the iPhone screen it is simply not possible due to it's tiny size compared to a "real" screen. I try to use the imperfection of the photos as stylistic devices, as emphasis or irritation to the viewer. Plenty of filters are supporting me with that and while on the PC I do have to deal with curves, saturation, white balance and sharpness I am just using different effects on the iPhone.

Usually I am not setting something up when I do use the iPhone, but just shoot things as they are and using my methods to make them appear in the way I would like to see them or as I do see them at that certain moment. From time to time I also do just build up a set for the photos, but I try to do it with a very low effort. In the end one could say I am doing very effective photography with the iPhone which is true, because I don't try to perfectionize pictures, but just make them look as I want them to look.



I was at a rag fair when I saw this old doll pushed into the paper carton surrounded by all of the christmas decoration. The way how the doll was pushed into the carton and how it looked made me want to take a photo. I had the feeling that this doll might have had a certain value to somebody quite a long time ago, so that I decided to take a picture of it and give it some warm toning in order to reforge some of the warmth that it may have received in past times.

In general I do think, that rag fairs are a great place for photographers: Not only, that you can buy a lot of useful stuff for scenes you might want to set up for just some bucks, but you will also see a lot of stuff that is just worth to be photographed.


For Sale

At the same rag fair where I shot the doll I also saw this carton with the cruzifixes. Apart from the color harmony of the carton, the ground and the wood it caught my attention due to the surrealism of the scene. Even as an atheist it looked in a certain way "wrong" to me, to sell this as a mass article or to put it so valueless into a carton which made me wonder for a second if I am really atheist or if I just had lost my confession.

Some hours later when I was home I was sure about my atheism again, but it still appeared sad to me that somebody threw one of the most important signs just into a carton to sell it, because even as an atheist I can not deny that the christian religion did influence my life quite a lot and very often even more than I wished.



Sometimes there are some free and boring minutes even in the most boring office. I took this picture at a day that didn't wanted to end and which just seemed to stretch time into and endless, boring chewing gum mass. When I had the pencils in my hand I was quite happy to set up this simple scene and play around with PhotoForge2 and I made a small series out of it.


Grieving about the Lion

In all my life I have never been a person who transforms sadness about something going wrong into agressions. Most of the time I just suck it, but at times I also try to transform that feeling into a creative piece. When I was younger I used to write quite a lot of short stories, but nowadays I do use photography for it.

At this particular day I had really bad problems with my MacBook after a photo shoot, because it was crashing again and again and I was not able to edit the photos or even had a longer look to them. At that certain moment I was really upset and somehow this photo came into my mind, so that I decided to take it.



I do appreciate the iPhone as a tool for architecture shots, because in architecture shots nobody would expect depth of field, but only edge to edge sharpness of an image.

It was a very cold day and I just went out to do my usual shopping for the weekend when I saw this scene. I walked along this corner for a thousand times, because it is only some meters away from my home, but I never had a closer look to it.

At this certain day the sky had such a friendly and adorable blue that the building appeared in a very different light than usually, so that I had to take this picture.

Doing photos of things that surround someone every day may be the hardest thing for a photographer, because the more often you see something the more you get used to it not matter if it is very pretty, very ugly or very special. Being able to see something special in a scene you do experience every day is an important capability for taking photos, but it also is a commitment to life, because you do open yourself for seeing something special in every day's life.



I must admit, that I do love to flip pictures upside down from time to time. It is so much fun when people have a look to photos and they are irritated about it and think what might be wrong. The good thing about electronic photography is the fact that you do have an "up" and a "down" which is defined by how you save and provide the photo. Analog photos seem to have no direction, so that you can simply turn them around and destroy the magic of flipping a photo upside down.

This picture was made by me while I was walking through the airport in Düsseldorf and waiting for my plane to London which turned out to be delayed by more than two hours, so that I had the opportunity to make a couple of shots.



There are only few things I do like as much as minimalism. People tend to tell me from time to time that photos shouldn't be too minimalistic in order to attract, but attraction is not the aim of my photography. Instead I like to confuse, make people think or just enjoy. This can happen by a lot of different channels, but it doesn't have to be attraction.

I just loved the way how symmetric and simple the valve in the airplane was and how much effect it had on the other side, so that I decided to take a shot of it.



Doing business travel from time to time is a lot of fun, but when you are in a small town, tired from the stressful day with nobody else you know it can get boring. Most of the time I don't get bored, because I do have my camera with me, but for that particular trip I didn't take my DSLR with me for no reason.

When I was in the hotel room I recognized the old fashioned interior and how empty the hotel room was, so I decided to take this self portrait. I thought that the 3D effect adds something weird to the photo which really fitted to how I felt at that moment when I caught myself doing self portraits in a hotel room all by myself.



There are times when you regret so much that you didn't take your DSLR with you and at the day when I visited "Parkleuchten" with some friends I was really sad because the installations were just beautiful.

"Parkleuchten" is a reoccurring event in the Grugapark in Essen which is the city where I do live. The park opens the exhibition at the evening time in the end of winter time and there are plenty of fabulous art installations.

The three torso-less illuminated people on the bank caught my attention directly just for the abstractness of the scene.


I waited for you at least a lifetime, but you never appeared

This is one of the pictures I did with the iPhone, but which is set up.

I was visiting a friend for some days at the North Sea to make some pictures of my new car and just spend some time with him. While we had beautiful weather on the first day and I did get the opportunity to make some nice shots of my car there was just rain and clouds the following day. Since we didn't know what to do and wanted to kill the time we decided to take a walk at the ocean where I saw some empty banks. I asked my friends for the favor to just sit down so that I could take a picture which I did.

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