iPhone Photography Makes Big Impact [Year in Review] | Cult of Mac

iPhone Photography Makes Big Impact [Year in Review]



That little iPhone camera became a something of a big shot in 2010.

iPhone photography broke into art galleries, including an itinerant exhibit in Apple stores, and if Flickr statistics are anything to go by, the humble iPhone camera may sound the death knell for point-and-shoot cameras.

Cult of Mac talked to Knox Bronson, who helped get those iPhone pics in galleries, about how to take better iPhone pics and what’s ahead for iPhone shutterbugs in 2011.

He also shared with us a gallery of favorites from his website, Pixels at an Exhibition, which encourages the use of apps but doesn’t allow for any post-production clean-up with programs like Photoshop.

Cult of Mac: Why you think iPhone photography became so much more popular this year?

Knox Bronson: Last December, the medium was just emerging from its infancy, a two-year incubation, with a huge, if insular, culture established on Flickr and a handful of artists emerging from the pack.

Gallery shows, increased recognition from the mainstream press and the online world, the development of more sophisticated apps, and a incredible cross-pollination of ideas and techniques across the globe all contributed to iphonography’s increased popularity.

But the reality is just that the pictures have gotten so much better. Speaking as the curator of my site, and having looked at a minimum of 10,000 pictures this year, I can tell you that I knew back in January that a number of artists would separate from the pack and take the medium forward. What has amazed me is how far they, and a number of relative newcomers, have taken the form in such a very short time.

CoM: What’s really driving this movement?

KB: (What) makes the medium so wonderful is that it has not yet been co-opted by the marketeers: it’s still pure, uncommercialized, alive, still mostly underground, with a devoted and fanatical global community of people sharing their work.

CoM: What’s the best advice you can give for taking iPhone pics that don’t need to be fixed in post-production?

KB: Work with the iPhone and its limitations: don’t try to turn it into a “real” camera. The lens is very limited, although it has a zoom feature. That is really just digital cropping and you lose resolution, so try to frame your pictures by moving around, in, out, left, right.

Remember that the iPhone shoots when you lift your finger from the screen, not when you first touch it, so that is something to keep in mind if you are shooting people or objects in motion. Really pay attention to what is in your view screen.

Watch for low-light and glare since the iPhone handles neither well.

Color is your friend, it’s one thing the iPhone does really well. Soak up great art and photography and let their beauty inform your shots.

Most of all, have fun and be open to photo opportunities – the ephemeral fragments of existence – as they present themselves throughout every day.

CoM: Where do you see iPhone photography going in 2011?

KB: Without going into detail on what is in the works already, I can tell you that iphonography will explode into the Zeitgeist this coming year.

It is the most vibrant art form on the planet at the moment, and 2011 will be the year in which iphonography and the pioneers of the medium come into their own.

There are a number of visionary artists who are fully mature, museum- and gallery-ready, as well as a slew of up-and-comers, whose hard work and passion will garner well-deserved success.

Stay tuned!


Daily round-ups or a weekly refresher, straight from Cult of Mac to your inbox.

  • The Weekender

    The week's best Apple news, reviews and how-tos from Cult of Mac, every Saturday morning. Our readers say: "Thank you guys for always posting cool stuff" -- Vaughn Nevins. "Very informative" -- Kenly Xavier.