International Fine Arts Label

The Underestimated Magic Of Mobile Photography

Martin Dietrich, InspirationMartin DietrichComment

„The best camera is the one that is with you.“

...or so they say. Unfortunately I don’t remember who said this, but the quote stuck in my head every since I heard it for he first time. And I think it’s just dead-on.

Oftentimes I find myself leaving my camera at home, running across a unique scene that just has to be captured. The moment is just too beautiful to stay undocumented. In these situations my iPhone saved the day so many times.

Martin Dietrich Walking in the Rain
Martin Dietrich Down is the new up

In contrast to a bulky camera, your mobile is with you all the time and everywhere you go, giving you the chance to capture a moment you’d otherwise have missed. The mobile is ready in no-time, no need to fiddle with the settings, it’s just point-and-shoot. Missing a moment is very unlikely to happen, assumed that you are aware oft he possibility and willing to use your phone.

But that’s the gist of the matter with mobile phone cameras I assume: Daring to use it in a more serious context. Concerning this matter I’d like to float the following question: Assuming that you run across the most beautful moment you’ve seen since ages, do you rather miss the moment than using your phone?

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The fast evolution of mobile phones entails better mobile cameras with almost every new mobile released. Actually I’m quite impressed with the rsults from my iPhone 6. Of course, I won’t tell you that mobiles can compete with DSLRs yet, I’m not that naive. The resolution may not be what can be archieved with a DSLR, but the results are decent enough for an innumerable amount of purposes. That’s why mobiles may most likely be responsible for a whole camera segment becoming virtually obsolete: compact point-and-shoot cameras. If you’re not in need for high-end quality, mobile phone cameras can do the job in a satisfactory manner.

Nightmare II

Do mobile phone cameras deserve their spot in serious photography and photojournalism? In my opinion they do.  And they somehow already did. Do you remember the cover of Time Magazine after Hurricane Sandy? One of three covers of this particular week’s issue, titled „Lessons from the storm“ was shot with an iPhone. Time Magazine experimented using Instagram to cover the effects of the hurricane which, later on led to using an iPhone photo for their cover. This is just a public and well-known example. Presumably this will accumulate in the future.

Martin Dietrich The Maze
Martin Dietrich Transfigured

A capability I give mobiles credit for is the possibility to edit and share photos to all kinds of social media platforms directly from the device itself. This is an unnegligible point regarding the latest development in DSLR and mirrorless camera systems. Wireless capabilities and direct sharing functionalies are becoming crucial arguments for many customers. 

Martin Dietrich

If you're in need for advanced camera controls you'll probably find an app for that. There are so many great apps available, offering you manual controls and a lot more, almost infinite possibilities. Weather it's camera apps or apps for post processing and editing, there's a long list of great apps helping you to get the result you need. If you'd ask me which apps are essential for mobile photography, I'd recommend the following:

Snapseed - Slow Shutter - VSCO Cam - Hipstamatic

I recommend them because I use them a lot and they proved to be very helpful. I don't get money for telling you that. I linked to Apple's app store because I have an iPhone, but you can find the apps in Google's Play Store as well, I guess there's also a version for Windows Phone.


I've seen a lot of beautiful art that was created on a mobile device solely. In my opinion, still underestimating mobile photography is a mistake.

What is your opinion about mobile photography? Do take photos with your phone? What are your favorite apps? Tell us in the comments below.