Hello again. I’m Simone Ballerini a professional photographer based in Florence. You can find my work at www.simoneballerini.com
A lot of people these days are enrolling in the photography army, eager to get the most expensive piece of advanced gear, spending too many hours in photoshop and with forums on the internet looking for preset and shortcuts to take photos like pros. Many of us though are still taking the majority of their pictures with something we have always with us, not so much good as a camera but really easy to use. Our mobile phone is already become the camera of choice for the daily snaps at work, on holiday or even at the toilet. From our lunch to the big news of the mass media, photos and videos from mobile devices are now a reality of our visual word. The mobile as a camera is really easy to use, sometimes you just need to click a button and that’s it, really common with everyone and extremely versatile. With no need for training we can take a photograph and in a matter of seconds share it with family, friends and social networks. We can even say that mobile photography is the great equalizer of the medium. A democratization process, where taking pictures is now for everyone with the same gear and possibility, started with the rising of digital and now emphasized by the new iphoneography. The thing that makes taking pictures with your mobile so appealing is the possibility to download a lot of editing apps that are able to turn your flat and boring lunch in a supreme piece of art. Where first you needed hours of training in photoshop and a lot of money, now with one euro, most of the time for free, we can take, edit and publish a photo in a matter of seconds. This has surely annoyed a lot of professional photographers that, as it goes for every big revolution, have criticized this kind of photography as a thing for amateurs or even less. It is easy though to see that the internet, tvs, and news papers are flooded with these images and that taking a picture with our mobile and share it is now a daily activity of us along with taking a coffee or make a phone call.
Since now everyone basically has the same gear the thing that is different with every photographer is the phone you have and the app you use. The eternal fight between iPhone and Android is just the same as the one between the big brothers Nikon and Canon even though we must admit that the quality of the iPhone camera is way better that the one mounted on the many versions of the Android. The most popular app these days is Instagram. It is free, you can take a picture to edit with a lot of beautiful filters and it is a proper social network on his own in which you add friends, like your favorite photos and share on facebook, twitter an so.
For all the great things tis app can do I really don’t like the B&W conversion of his filters. To make up for this I use another app called Hipstamatic that has B&W conversions out of this world. This is another free app but some of the filters has a little price to pay on the store. Totally wort it.
With all these fancy apps we don’t have to diminish the impact of the human. How we compose the frame, for example, can make all the difference in the world between a boring pictures or a great one. There are millions of rules for composition but the most important and used is the rule of thirds: if we divide the frame in three equal parts both horizontal and vertically we have a grid in which the lines and the intersections between them are focal point
for placing the subjects of our pictures. So if we place the person we’re photographing on a side of the frame instead of the dead centre she’ll have a different meaning to the eyes. We can do the same with the horizon in a landscape, deciding whether to put it high or low to include more of the earth or of the sky.
Finally taking pictures with your mobile is easy, fun e rewarding. It is a good training for the eye to see the world, document our life and share it with others.