The Camera That’s With You

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You have probably heard of the philosophy that the best camera is “the one you have with you.” The phrase was originally used by Chase Jarvis in his book The Best Camera Is The One That’s With You: iPhone Photography. The concept – so simple and yet somehow so profound – is being embraced by photography enthusiasts of all types. Finally, camera snobbery is becoming a thing of the past. Whether we own a DSLR, a point-and-shoot, or simply a cell phone with a decent camera, we are becoming united in the thought that it is the act of capturing the photo itself, and not what the photo was captured with, that is important.

One of the most effective methods for improving photographic skills is to shoot every day, and to always have a camera with you. In this way you are constantly exercising your photographic eye, building “skill muscles” that will continue to evolve and improve the more you shoot. Foundational photographic concepts such as exposure, composition, and sharpness do not change or diminish regardless of the bit of technology used to capture an image.

Personally, I find myself using the camera on my phone quite a bit. I own an HTC One and the photo quality is actually pretty darned decent. It certainly is no replacement for my Canon EOS 7D as far as image quality and aperture/shutter speed manipulation goes, but my realistic expectations are being met. If I see something I find interesting, or have a memory I want to capture in the moment, I’m perfectly content to use my camera phone.

These photos were taken with my HTC One. Click to see larger images.

Two Lights Point in Cape Elizabeth, Maine.  Taken with the HTC One cell phone.

Portland Harbor, Maine, taken with HTC One cell phone.

Grand Tetons, shot with HTC One camera phone.

My Canon PowerShot S110 was a Christmas gift from my husband. He heard me mention that I sometimes wished I had something other than a DSLR to carry with me – something small to tuck into my purse that I could keep with me everywhere I went. It’s tiny, powerful, inexpensive, and nearly as flexible as a DSLR if I choose to perform a deep dive through the menus. Predominately, though, I tend to use it on its auto or creative mode settings. After all, if I’m going to go through the trouble of setting up aperture and shutter speed for a shot I’ll use my DSLR. Sure, sometimes I mourn the lack of my DSLR for those opportunities that would have been better served with one. But the point is to take pictures, and have fun.

These photos were taken with my Canon PowerShot. Click to see larger images.

Montana Mountain Trail, AZ, taken with a Canon Powershot S110.

Montana Mountain Trail, AZ, shot with a Canon Powershot S110.

Is “the camera you have with you” something other than a DSLR? What has been your experience in capturing photos using camera phones and point-and-shoot models? Do you love it? Hate it? Do you use it more or less than your DSLR? Tell us all about it and share your photos on our Facebook Page, Google Plus Community, and our Flickr Group.

All photos copyright Tiffany Joyce.

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