Yes, I will readily admit, my favorite camera is in my iPhone 6s. I have used it exclusively for the past two years. I also fall more in love with it every time I pull it out of my back pocket. And to think I had another iPhone for nearly two years before I ever even tried the camera. Yes, there is a back story here, and I will gladly share it with you.
Truth is I have been a camera snob for over forty years. I fell in love with photography after reading Edward Weston’s Day Books back in 1974. My first serious camera was a medium format Mamiya. I completed a degree in Photography and Visual Design at the University of Oregon, where I studied with Hal Halberstadt and Ted Orland. They both had assisted Ansel Adams in his Yosemite Workshops. I was firmly planted in the f64 Group aesthetic. I spent 30 years exposing sheet film using large format view cameras. All that time developing my own film and making prints in a darkroom.
It was truly hard enough to finally even give digital cameras a try, but I did in 2006. I used both Canon and Fuji cameras and ended up loving them, for a whole lot of reasons. But the camera in my iPhone? No way, that would be nothing short of sacrilegious.
That was until I walked into a tiny pop-up gallery in Santa Fe in the summer of 2014. That’s when everything changed. I couldn’t tell if the prints I saw hanging on the wall were photographs or fine etchings. So I asked, only to find out they were all made with an iPhone and printed on an Epson wide format printer with archival inks. That’s the day my life in photography did a U-turn.
For the past two years the camera in my iPhone is the only camera I’ve used. First, it is alway with me, everywhere. My process goes like this. I see something and my heart responds, it really is a love thing. Then my eye has it framed by the time my iPhone is out of my pocket. It’s simple, it’s direct, it’s pure love in action. In so many ways it reminds me of my very first film camera, a cheap 35mm with a standard 50mm lens. It made me work for the image, if I wanted something to be larger in the frame I had to move closer, just like my iPhone. I don’t use the zoom or the flash. I move my body, I compose the image, and I click the shutter. And I love photography more than ever. To wide open lenses, and wide open hearts. Love, Glen.