Thursday, 3 April 2014

First iPhone photography exhibition opens in Ireland

The lone tree which eventually became the Faulks book cover

Mr Coe believes the difference in image quality between an iPhone and a

standard DSLR is not as stark as many would imagine, although the set-up

differs greatly.

“A simple lens and sensor make you think more about composition, as

unless you attach supplementary lenses, you have to work with a semi wide

lens, and the only zoom or extra wide angle you have is your legs.” A

small tripod is a useful accompaniment for using long exposures, he

suggests, and holding the phone as steadily as possible will produce the

sharpest result.

A variety of finishes and filters transform images entirely

The ability to instantly transform an image with filters and overlays without

the need for uploading and Photoshopping is a huge incentive, he said. He

uses a variety of apps including Hipstamatic and Oggl for taking the photos,

and 645pro, SlowShutter, ProCamera, Grunge and others for textures, filters

and additional adjustments.

Given the huge advances in phone camera technology, does it mean we should do

away with the traditional wedding photographer and simply seek to document

such events ourselves, albeit behind a tasteful sepia filter? Mr Coe isn’t


“Just because people have a great camera in their pocket doesn’t mean

they’re automatically a great photographer,” he said. “Too many

weddings and portraits are ruined by not employing a properly qualified

photographer. People really should only use photographers who are qualified

members of organisations like the Master Photographers Association or the

Society of Wedding and Portrait Photographers. Why spend thousands on a

wedding and then get a cheap photographer when all you will have left

afterwards are the photographs?”

The powerful and increasingly sophisticated little cameras we carry around

every day are leading to a shift in manufacturer’s perspectives, he


Some pictures feature a combination of painterly and photographic


“For most people, taking photos with your phone whether it is a family

group or a landscape it is a natural thing to do,” he said. “As

far as camera manufacturers go, I think the days of the small cheaper

compact camera is numbered. Traditionally, if you wanted high quality files,

you needed a big camera with lots of megapixels, but have I produced

6ft-wide canvas Panorama images just from my iPhone.”

Mr Coe no longer has a favourite time of day for taking pictures; nor is he

slave to notoriously unpredictable weather conditions. “Some of my

friends who are great landscape photographers get up early to get the lovely

early morning light,” he laughs. “I stay in bed and tell them I

have an app to give me that early morning light!”

Phone-Art: An Exhibition of the Art of Mobile Photography runs April 4 –

30, Bangor Carnegie Library, Ireland

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