Phone. Snap. Love

My recently published article in Kluster Magazine’s Photography Issue: 

In 1685, German author and inventor, Johann Zahn, invented the world’s first portable camera. Not surprisingly, portable would be the furthest from its description today since it required four wheels and the use of almost all major muscle groups to use. We dare say Johann would be awed to discover that in today’s digital age the secret to a portable camera lies in an electronic image sensor, much smaller than the average postage stamp. And by the early 1990s, this little device found its ideal home in the warm inner wirings of a mobile phone, creating a love affair as strong as that of tequila and Advil. It’s no wonder that almost half of all mobile phones in the market today offer a camera as part of their features.

Phone cameras have come a long way from their humble beginnings of delivering pictures grainier than Weetabix. And while many phone companies aim for higher mega pixels, the iPhone has decided on another route all together, keeping their pixels a modest number but paving the way with applications that can turn your snap into pure art.

Three iPhone photo applications that have been well loved by photography aficionados around the globe are ToyCamera (plastic lens quality pictures), OldCamera, (camera obscura quality shots), and QuadCamera (a series of pics with just one shot). This blessed trinity was invented by Takayuki Fukatsu, a young Japanese app developer who creates his programming marvels from his home in the rural countryside of Kanagawa, Japan.

“When I first heard that Apple was releasing the iPhone, everyone said its camera would be too cheap for serious photographers. However, I believe that the value of a digital camera is not in super hi-resolution or tons of features. I knew that I could create applications that would make the iPhones simple camera worthy of great shots,” says Takayuki during a recent interview with Kluster. The cult following Takayuki has acquired on Flickr groups proves that he has achieved just that. His applications turn simple phone snaps into warm contrasts of colour, hazy dreams, and stark black and whites, all with the mere release of a finger on your touch screen. Takayuki goes on to explain, “One of the best compliments I’ve gotten from my apps is a user who told me that he sold his DSLR the minute he saw the quality of the photos.” With applications like those created by Takayuki available, the only thing required to take a great picture on your smart phone is your imagination.

Read the rest of the issue here