Brendan Ó Sé is an Irish multi-award winning fine art photographer/mobile photographer, and current iPhone Photographer of the Year (2017). Brendan is a firm believer in the powers of mobile photography, even claiming it’s the best camera in the world. More specifically, Brendan believes iPhone’s are the best cameras.
While debatable, here are three of Brendan’s reasons for his statement, fresh from his ZafigoX talk;
Small, discreet, and fast
Brendan is convinced that the portability of his iPhone allows him to capture stunning moments with more consistency; “It is fantastic for travel, because when you’re out and you have this device that everybody has, it allows you to get into situations to get photographs that otherwise might be very difficult with a big, heavy DSLR. It is very small, discreet, it is very fast, what you see is what you get, it is very accurate, you get immediate feedback, it encourages creativity, and very importantly, it’s fun. And pursuits like travel and photography is fun.”
He then went on to recall the little use he was getting out of his expensive and bulky professional camera equipment; “I went from a situation of having ‘real’ cameras in my drawer at home collecting dust, only taking them out on special occasions, taking photographs five or six times a year, to a situation where I am constantly taking photographs.”
Makes you a better photographer
Looking back at his evolution as a photographer, Brendan insinuates that the increase in photograph-taking opportunities has made him a better photographer; “In the past two years, I have taken more than 15,000 photographs on my iPhone. What this resulted in is that I went from a situation where I was observing scenes and thinking to myself ‘Wow, this would make a great photograph’, but I didn’t have a camera on me so I had to continue on, to having the iPhone with me, allowing me to get that shot, and resulting in me thinking and seeing more photographically.”
Brendan dismisses claims that his favourite camera should not be regarded as one; “People may say that an iPhone isn’t a real camera. Of course it is. Photography is about photographs, not about cameras.” He continued to state that since getting his first iPhone five years ago, he has gone on to travel to 26 different countries, leading to him going through some of the stunning photographs captured with his iPhone.
Limitations force creativity
Clearly approaching life from a ‘glass half full’ perspective, Brendan feels the limitations of the iPhone as a camera helps bring more to the table; “Photography is about composition, it is about life, about the moment, and very very much about memories. What is great about the iPhone is that it has limitations, and when there are limitations in life it forces creativity and it forces you to improve. One of these limitations is that it has a fixed lens, meaning you can’t zoom optically. Because I cannot zoom, I’m very careful about my composition. In some of these photographs I spend a considerable about of time making sure I get what I want in the frame for the picture.”