Mobile and Tablet photography


The popularity of smart phone and recent tablet computers such as Apple iPad and Samsung Galaxy Tab is creating a new breed of a photographer: a mobile photographer. Most of the current mobile phones and tablets include cameras. There are even specialist add-on lenses for some devices. But … is it photography?

Well it is certainly some form of photography. The huge advantage obviously is the “spear of the moment” availability of the camera. Almost every one has one in their hand all the time.

I must admit I am yet to make one decent photograph with either my phone or tablet, but there are people who are very committed to the mobile photography art and who create some amazing results.

In my opinion these devices are not suitable as good cameras for the simple design form factor restriction. Having to touch the screen to take a photo means you are moving the device. This translates to the familiar blurry mobile phone photo result. Another issue is colour temperature. The cameras are too simple to compensate for the environment the photographs are taken in, thus many photos are way to blue or warm (red to brown tinge). Yes, all of that can be fixed with software however, and this is another restriction, these cameras create just JPEGs and not raw images, thus compromising the quality of the potential photograph.

The attached photo was made with Apple iPad. The impressive part is how closely it can focus (less than 2 inches in this case). Also, there is an interesting set of Apps with various filters, which allow to dress the photos up. The phone dials seen here are not of some old phone as the image may indicate but super modern Polycom set. The look was created by the camera app.