Sign of the Times

If there’s any doubt that images made with smartphones have gained legitimacy on a much broader scale, here are some indicators:  use on front covers of national magazines; acceptance by a major stock agency; and Really Right Stuff building an iPhone 5 case with a beveled edge designed to fit in a tiny clamp with dovetail base that fits in an Arca-Swiss-style ballhead.

This is much more than pure popularity on a mass scale.  The cameras built into late-model cell phones are capable of some remarkable results when used methodically with good composition practices.  And more than ever the realization is sinking in that not every image has to be suitable for fine art printing in dimensions that measure in feet rather than inches.  If anything, it seems we’ve circled back around to recognizing again that there are many intended purposes for images, and some are perfectly acceptable for a number of categories—including publication—even if their physical size isn’t very large.

Don’t expect cell phones to replace specialized equipment (like fast telephoto lenses and bodies with extreme high-ISO capability) for sports and wildlife anytime soon, but there’s no doubt technology will continue to improve capabilities on many fronts.

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