Our latest Readers Photo Challenge assignment, cellphone photography, is an encore of one we did in 2013. The results of that one was impressive and this one did not disappoint.
Cellphones and the pictures that we take with them are as ubiquitous as the air we breathe. They have replaced point-and-shoot cameras as the most popular imaging devices. Most of those photos aspire to be nothing more than simple snapshots and there’s nothing wrong with that. But some can reach the level of art.
29 people sent in 117 photos. Here are some of the best examples.
One way of elevating cellphone photography, or any kind of photography for that matter, is to look at things in a different way. For most people seeing a beautiful sunset is easy and direct to shoot. Just point your phone/camera at and click away. Carrie Walker saw such a pretty sunset but thought of more than shooting it directly. Using her Apple iPhone 6, she caught the sunset’s orange-red hues in the back window of her brother’s pickup truck parked at her home in Stockton. It’s a perfect example of seeing things in a different way.
Rick Wilmot of Lodi also looked at things in a different way. Most people look at plants as a whole. Wilmot looked closer. With his Samsung Galaxy Note 5 smartphone he photographed a frond from a palm tree in his backyard. He captured the strong lines of the frond as they radiated out from a central point. Combined with its bright green color, it makes for a great graphic composition.
Cellphone photos are so popular that there is a thriving demand for aftermarket accessories for them. Darrin Denison of Stockton won a set of supplemental lenses for his iPhone6 by winning first place in a photo contest by the website Viewbug. He used a macro lens to photograph a ladybug crawling on a dusty miller plant in his backyard. It allowed him to get in close to captured the red of the insect as it popped out against the neutral white of the plant.
Ann Dann of Sacramento used an Apple iPhone6 to photograph a raindrop on a leaf in her backyard. Her phone allowed her to get in close to the large raindrop without any supplementary lenses. I liked how she was able to get some of the other plants in her yard reflected in the drop.
One of the problems that often befall all photographers but also especially phone shooters is not getting close enough. The term “fill the frame” should be a mantra for everyone with a camera and that’s what Robbie Swan of Lathrop did. With a Samsung S5 he photographed some backyard flowers. He got in close enough so that the flower on the bottom dominates the picture and helps lead the eye into the composition and to the rest of the flowers in the scene.
Joan Erreca of Stockton used her Samsung Galaxy S6 smartphone to photograph the view of the Pacific Ocean at Julia Pfieffer State Park in Big Sur. Instead of just taking a shot of the wide open ocean, she used the trees to frame the sea for a more interesting photo.
Stay tuned for a new challenge issued in 2 weeks on June 9.