I’m making my way through Why Photographs Work and enjoying it a great deal. I guess. Reviewing an image by Dan Burkholder in particular (Tree and Pond in Fall), I was taken by how well this came out, despite being created and processed almost completely in his cell phone.
Not only is the processing of the image remarkable in its own right, but it’s a fine image on its own – I wouldn’t consider it any poorer than work done on higher-grade equipment. What *really* jumped out at me was a comment by the photographer:
Decades ago I heard Jerry Uelsmann describe how the very act of having a camera with you makes you more aware of your surroundings. That advice made so much sense that I’m practically neurotic about having one camera or another with me at all times.
This rings true with me – when I carry a camera, I am more likely to look around for excuses to use it. I see this in my daily life, for example: currently it’s what we call “break-up” in Alaska, or just past it: the snow has mostly melted & ice is thawing – breaking up – and spring is effectively here, but everything is brown and grey and… well, not pretty at all.
After twenty-odd springs like this, I’m just not impressed, so I don’t carry my camera. And as a result, I don’t notice the drabness quite so much. During other times of the year, I carry my camera compulsively.
It appears that Mr. Burkholder gets this same benefit from his iPhone. Interestingly, I do not.
Time to get back into the habit.