Michael D. Davis

5 years ago · 3 min. reading time · visibility ~10 ·

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Studio Photos with An iPhone? No Way!


I mean come on! Who in their right mind would even consider taking photos of someone in a studio with an iPhone? First, there's no flash synch ability, so you can't even use a studio lighting system if you wanted to. Besides the images you are going to make using a completely dumb smart phone can't begin to compare to the multi-megapixel behemoths that professionals haul around these days. Even if you did pay full price for an iPhone, (and you'd be a little naive if you did), it's still thousands less than the gear serious photographers use. End of story. Or, is it?

I've practiced professional photography for over thirty years and have owned a fully equipped working studio for over twenty of those. I cut my teeth on film and have been blessed to have developed everything from 35mm to 8x10 sheet film by hand. I've witnessed the wizardry of watching an image appear before my eyes in a tray of caustic chemicals and nearly wept at the magic of it all.

In addition to watching the trade change dramatically over the past half century I have the distinction of being one of the early adopters of digital imaging in my area of influence when it became less than cost prohibitive to purchase a system that would produce anything more than an awful novelty for an image. I learned the hard way that trying to keep up with all the changes is a futile effort, unless you wish to willingly go broke at the hands of a behemoth   marketing industry of technological consumer goods. I think Matt Sweetwood just may back me up on this if he happens to be lurking in this hive somewhere.

But this isn't about me and isn't about the next best camera or piece of gear you should run out and purchase. I'm beholden to no one. This is about you, and your interest in digital iPhone photography, what is now referred to as iPhonography.

I don't make money advertising for any camera, camera gear or photographic software companies. Hell, I don't make much money at all truth be told. but I do have an abiding love for teaching and mentoring folks like you in the discipline, art and craft of photography. I enjoy helping others who love to take photos of things that are important to them. That's why I began this hive, in order to be helpful to you.

Most of us have a phone with a built in camera with us almost every minute, day and night. It takes only a few seconds to share an image we create with our phone literally with the whole world. There's a saying about what the best camera to use is in any given situation. The answer is whatever camera you happen to have with you. Just make sure you know how to use it properly if you want to make an image you can be proud enough of to share. The rest of us will be ever so grateful. In fact if you get good enough you can actually even impress us with your skill. That's where this hive comes in.

This hive isn't about me and my photos. I will be using images I've created for only one purpose. That purpose is to serve as incentive, encouragement and inspiration to get you to the point where your images will outshine whatever I might enjoy showing you, and hopefully that you will enjoy looking at.

I'm sure you are wondering that if this is so, that I'm more interested in seeing your images and helping you enjoy taking images with your iPhone than of talking about my stuff, then what is my image doing at the beginning of this article? Seems a little contradictory doesn't it? So here's the thing.

Remember that I began by writing that there's no way an iPhone would take professional quality studio images like a sophisticated, expensive, heavy, interchangeable lens, 50 megapixel, full frame sensor, back and bank breaking camera will? You may be right when it comes to making images that will be enlarged to the size of a Times Square billboard. But that's a slim "maybe".

An assistant took  the business portrait image you see here of me using my iPhone, in my studio, using studio lighting. No, it's not with the newly announced 12 megapixel iPhone 7s. It was taken On January 19th, 2015, that's nearly two years ago, with an ancient iPhone 4S. I did turn it into a duo-toned image because I like the effect. And just so you can compare, here's the original image file:


Now you may not have the slightest interest in taking images of people and have absolutely no desire to try this in a studio and that's just fine. But I'm betting that you'd like to create a few image that look somewhat like these:






Studio Photos with An iPhone? No Way!

Yep. Every one was taken with an iPhone, and I've got more to share with you, but first, I'd like to hear what your interest is in being a part of this hive. Is it to improve you images? Is it to learn about how to use your iPhone better as an imaging tool? Is it to check out the competition? Whatever your reason happens to be, I'm glad you're here. Let me help you if I can and let's have some fun producing some honey along the way.


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