iPhone Photography

Why iPhone Photography?
Whilst the original iPhone, released in 2007 was revolutionary in so many ways, the camera on the iPhone was certainly not one of its main selling points. The original iPhone came with a 2-megapixel, fixed focus rear facing camera (and no front facing camera). In reality, a really crappy camera at best. Around the same time in 2007, I was switching from Minolta film SLR cameras to Nikon DSLR cameras. The Nikon D200 DSLR’s I bought back then came with a 10.2-megapixel sensor. As a professional photographer, you could say I was a late entrant to the digital photography world, but until that time, I did not believe that digital cameras could match the quality of my trusty old film cameras (and I was right).
Fast forward to late 2014 and with the release of the iPhone 6, with it’s 8-megapixel rear facing camera with improved image processing over the iPhone 5s (which had a similar 8-megapixel camera) and I felt that the quality of images taken with the iPhone 6 were finally on par with the images taken on my Nikon DSLR’s. I knew then that the future of digital photography would be with iPhones and other similar smartphones and that the DSLR was becoming dated.
As a professional photographer, you tend to want to keep your photography gear updated. Something new comes out and you have to have it. Now, when shooting with film cameras, the camera itself was more a shell, the real quality of your image came from the lens and film used (and of course the skill of the photographer). New film would come out that was better then previous film, so you would start buying newer, better film. New camera bodies also came out, but not with as much frequency, and when they did, there really wasn't that much technology in them to warrant upgrading every time a new SLR body came out. In fact, I used the SLR bodies for over seven years and I never felt that I had an “old” camera.
my photo gear in 2010 and 2017.

My photo gear back in 2010 on left and 2017 on right

By the time I had switched to DSLR cameras back in 2007, new DSLR cameras were coming out practically every year. So every year, I had to replace my still new DSLR’s with new models. Why, because unlike traditional film SLR cameras, DSLR’s directly impact the quality of the image taken. It was still important to use a good quality lens, but you couldn't just buy better quality film, the quality of the image sensor in a DSLR became one of the most important factors in the quality of the images taken. So over the course of the next seven years, I ended up spending close to $30,000 on camera bodies. Compared to the previous seven years when I used the same two film SLR bodies. Whilst I saved some money in not having the costs of buying and processing film, I certainly would not have spent $30,000 on film in seven years!
So back to 2014 and my decision to switch from DLSR to iPhone photography full time. Yes, I still have to buy a new camera (iPhone) every year, but I have always done that anyway. I like to have a new iPhone every year. It is something I have done since getting my first iPhone back in 2007. Another factor I considered was all of the gear I had to carry around using my DLSR’s. Even taking a “small” kit with me would still consist of at least one camera body and a minimum of two lenses. That is still a decent size bag to carry around. Now, I carry a small shoulder bag that has my iphone, iPad, Apple pencil, grip, extra power bank and charging cables. That’s it.
in the field with photo gear in 2010 and 2017.

In the field with my gear in 2017 and back in 2010 on right

Do I regret giving up all of my DSLR gear to use just my iPhone? Not a chance. The freedom I get from not having to lug all that gear around and the anonymity I get from people not thinking of me as a professional photographer when I’m travelling around (a Nikon D4 and 70-200 f/2.8 lens tends to stick out) is amazing. Yes, there are occasions when I wish I still had my Nikon gear for certain situations, but for 99.9% of the images I take, the iPhone is outstanding and I have no regrets.
Can an iPhone really take as good a photograph as a DSLR?
The answer is quite simply, yes. All of the images on the right side of this page were taken with various iPhone models. A large number of images in my Online Gallery have also been captured using an iPhone. The images speak for themselves. Below are a couple of examples of images taken with an iPhone and a similar image taken with a DSLR. See if you can tell which one is which.
comparison of image taken with iPhone and the other with a DSLR.

Both of the above images were taken at Okunoin Temple Cemetery in Koyasan, Japan. One was taken using a Nikon D4 body with a 24-70mm f/2.8 lens in 2012 and the other was taken with an Apple iPhone 7 Plus in 2017. Can you tell the difference?

comparison of image taken with iPhone and the other with a DSLR.

One of these images was taken with over $9,000 worth of professional Nikon gear and the other was taken with a $1,500 Apple iPhone 7 Plus. Again, can you tell which is which?

Where can you learn more about iPhone Photography?
The best way to learn more about iPhone Photography would be to join me on one of my iPhone Photography workshops or tours. Click on the link below to find out more.
You can also check out my blog and Youtube channel, both of which are updated regularly with tips and hints on iPhone Photography.
Balinese Man.  Image captured with an Apple iPhone X

Bali, Indonesia  2018.   iPhone X

Sunset on Fafa Island, Tonga.  Image captured with an Apple iPhone 6

Fafa Island, Tonga  2014.   iPhone 6

Devils Marbles, Northern Territory, Australia.  Image captured with an iPhone 6s Plus.

Australia 2015.  iPhone 6s Plus

Rice fields, Bali, Indonesia.  Image captured using an Apple iPhone 6s Plus.

Bali, Indonesia 2016.  iPhone 6s Plus

Wat Yai Chai Mongkol, Ayutthaya, Thailand.  Image captured using an Apple iPhone 7 Plus.

Thailand 2017.  iPhone 7 Plus

Mapu 'a Vaea blowholes, Tongatapu, Tonga.  Image captured using an Apple iPhone 6.

Tongatapu,Tonga 2014.  iPhone 6

Osaka, Japan.  Image captured using an Apple iPhone 7 Plus.

Osaka, Japan 2017.  iPhone 7 Plus

Camel at Sunset ner Giza, Egypt.  image captured using an Apple iPhone 7 Plus.

Giza, Egypt 2017.  iPhone 7 Plus

Wat Chai Wattanaram, Ayutthaya, Thailand.  Image captured using an Apple iPhone 7 Plus.

Thailand 2017.  iPhone 7 Plus

Statue of Ramses II, Luxor Temple, Egypt.  Image captured using an Apple iPhone 7 Plus.

Luxor, Egypt.  iPhone 7 Plus

Wat Arun, Bangkok, Thailand.  image captured using an Apple iPhone 7 Plus.

Thailand 2017.  iPhone 7 Plus