iPhone Photos & Photo Apps “Cheating”? by Aaron Schwartz

iPhone photos & Photo Apps Cheating?

by Aaron Schwartz

Is iPhone photography & post-processing with apps cheating?

It’s odd to me how some people think making images with an iPhone is somehow cheating, too easy or not real photography.

All photographs are manipulated.

A camera is a camera, a machine that fixes the effects of light on a medium. A post-processing app is a darkroom.

Just not so smelly.

So while I have some admiration for purists, curmudgeons and luddites for their staunch stubbornness and pinhole vision, I will embrace any invention that makes life more fun and allows me to do what I want to do and doesn’t spoil the planet.

Maybe iPhones + apps put creative possibilities in too many grubby hands;

Maybe camera gadgetry and darkroom alchemy sent us down a sinful and impure path from the beginning; and maybe any art that isn’t scratched into a cave wall with a rock is too damned easy.

But I don’t think so.

Click to view aamora’s iPhoneography collection
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8 thoughts on “iPhone Photos & Photo Apps “Cheating”? by Aaron Schwartz”

  1. Every now and again, I catch myself saying, this is much too fun and too easy to be experiencing such joy as my “virgin” excursion into the world of creating images comes to light. Well, after reading your wonderous phrases, Aaron, I felt all the more justified. The I-Phone and it’s APP’s are the main reason for having broken a vow of visual silence….the experimentation, ease, ecological aspects and the sheer fun of the thing is what has driven me to keep going…Can’t wait to see more of your work and read more of your words…Many thanks!

  2. Amen to all these new artistic freedoms.

    Cell phone captures are really a lot more than that today.It has democratized our planet throughout many aspects of our lives. It has exhibited to us many a horrific tale from countries under siege, by well let´s say varying states of dictatorial regimes. It has help those in such situations of political terror from not being necessarily imprisoned or enslaved entirely. This is what photography via cell phones means today. In a photo-journalistic context it has given our species the liberation to communicate in a more concise and rapid manner..One can only imagine the lives that such an instrument might have saved during the various global genocides of the past 20th century. These devices have truly given us back something that was lost to us…as a new form of freedom, artistic or otherwise.

    Oh, yes one can still argue and ask at what price? Especially to those enslaved to produce such powerful tools to create images with and call friends on. This is the down side of progress one supposes…we will just have to leave that to the historian´s to sort through later on.

    Thank you Aaron for such an insightful exposé.

  3. I could not agree more, the more one finds to experiment with the more fun we can have!!! Wonderful photos to accompany your intelligent comments with Aaron and thank you for sharing!!!

  4. I’m still a curmudgeon… but I sure take a lot of pictures with my telephone. I think it’s the plethora of cheezy effects (in ‘real photograpy’ I’d point out HDR, layer masturbation and making toddlers pet pensive bears in a soft focus as a few crimes of photoraphy) that make me queezy. I feel cheap even when I use a nifty border.

    But then, I just like the pictures themselves. The nostalgic tinting of pics to ‘look 70s’ is very popular with people born in the 90s… I dunno. I gotta go to sleep so I can have coffee soon…

    I think I’m going out with my K1000 tomorrow.


  5. One hardly needs to read your text, Aaron, when looking at your fabulous pictures here, and elsewhere on the web,taken with an iPhone. They speak for themselves. I haven’t got an iPhone (yet) but agree with you and Anne that it’s the artist and his/her talent and vision that counts rather than the medium used. Well done Aamora promoting an iPhone photo exhibit! Just sorry I can’t join in this time, but am so enjoying everyone elses images so far.
    By the way, I vote Marie iPhone model of the year!

  6. I love my iphone apps. The apps are there to work with but they don’t do they creative work. The final product is the creation of the person who puts it all together in a specific and visually artistic way.

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