Thoughts on camera phone photography, inspiration and creativity…

Images from Ireland. (Martin Herrera Soler)

Image created with an iPhone. Nature’s revenge.  Roads of Ireland.  Green is everywhere in Ireland, where ever you look at there are endless patches of shades of green that loose into the horizon.  It turns out the roads are not that different.  In the middle of the paved roads, where the wheels don’t run as much, Nature manages to come back strong and claim its space.

I spent the last ten days traveling in Ireland. It was not a photography trip (even though it is a great destination for many potential photography projects); it was a family vacation, and thus I decided to take it light on the photography side and spend more time being with my family. Interestingly enough, I found myself reaching more to the iPhone than to my camera, which was also with me. Granted this would probably not be the case if I was doing ‘more serious’ photography, two concepts emerged very clearly.

First, for snapshots – those more casual images of friends and family having lunch, or Clara and I walking the streets of Dublin-, I felt more inclined to register them with an iPhone than with my regular camera. Somehow I feel that when I pick-up my camera, I have to create this profound, earth shattering and inspiring image. Yet, with the camera phone, comes a certain degree of liberation, my expectations lower and all of a sudden there is a whole ‘new space’ for me to simply play and create the silly casual images that I resist creating with my camera. I know, it would be great that I allowed myself the space and the creative and playfulness freedom to do the same with my regular camera… who knows, maybe that’s next in line.

Images from Ireland. (Martin Herrera Soler)

Image created with an iPhone.  Ireland.  Hotel room the day before we returned.  The idea of carrying my bag to the very far away car was disheartening.  So we parked the car in the room to be sure that we would have next day.

Second, I realized that very good images can be created with a camera phone. This should not be news if you have seen Chase Jarvis book on iPhone photography, but somehow it was a revelation for my own work. And there is a very special feeling that comes from the simplicity of editing right on the phone, and sharing directly to which ever social community pleases you. Also, I have been playing with Hipstamatic, an iPhone camera applications that emulates old cameras with several types of lenses and films, and it’s just a pleasure to experiment and play with.

 (Martin Herrera Soler)  (Martin Herrera Soler)  (Martin Herrera Soler)

Images created using Hipstamatic iPhone camera software.

It will be interesting to see how this develops for me.  On one hand I would love to continue developing my camera phone photography.  The restrains from lack of in camera options is refreshing, fun and indeed leads to great creativity (even though I am already working with a Leica as my main camera, so I am pretty streamlined in terms of simplicity).  I think I would also benefit greatly from granting myself greater freedom to play, fool around and create simply snapshots with my main camera system.  I am sure a great deal of creativity might simply arise and flow from the increased freedom.  I’ll keep you posted!  I would love to hear from your experience and creative process…

If you want to see more of my iPhone experimentation photography, check this gallery:

Thanks for taking the time.  Until next time…  Martin.