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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

what inspires you? - christy

mission: MUSE - "what inspires you?"
by guest muse christy


About a year ago I finally broke down and got an iPhone. I bought it primarily because I truly needed a new cell phone and also, I admit, because I thought it was time to see what the fuss was all about. I intended to use it to call people (duh, it's a phone, right?), to access my email on the go and, you know, to look up anything, anytime, anywhere.  What could be more convenient than that?

The iPhone's built in camera was the last thing on my mind. Until I acquired my first camera app.

My love affair with iPhoneography has inspired me in ways I never imagined. I now travel through life with a more observant eye because subconsciously I know that I have a camera with me at all times. I am inspired by the beauty in everyday things and moments that before might have passed me by unnoticed. A fire hydrant, a manhole cover, a tree branch, or a piece of newspaper blown onto the sidewalk after a rainstorm...

{app: Hipstamatic; lens: Helga Viking; film: Blackeys B&W}
My iPhone hasn't replaced my regular camera.  And I know many of you are not convinced of the power of the iPhone, viewing it merely as a "cheap artsy thrill".  That's OK, you don't have to like it, but perhaps you'll allow me to share with you a few of my favorite things about iPhoneography...

1. My iPhone is always there for me.  It's small and it's always in my bag.  I never have to miss a moment because I don't have my camera with me.  I now take more photos of the little things that I might not have bothered to pull out my big clunky digital to capture even if I had it with me.  Like this view of Central Park out the window of a building where I had a meeting this morning...

{app: Hipstamatic; lens: Helga Viking; film: Ina's 1969}
2.  I can be more spontaneous.  The iPhone is less intrusive and allows me to take photos that are more "in the moment".  There is no need to fumble around with camera settings, lighting and focus.  I see something interesting (like this woman on the subway platform) and it's just a swipe and tap of the screen and I'm making memories before the next train arrives and obscures my view...

{app: PS Mobile; effect: Vignette Blur}
3. It's back to basics.  I feel free and playful when taking photos with my phone.  Expectations are lower when it's "just a camera phone" and I tend to experiment more because I put less pressure on myself to be so perfect.  I took a bunch of photos of the George Washington Bridge one day with my digital camera and at the last moment snapped this shot with my phone, aiming more at the clouds than the bridge for something different.  It turned out to be my favorite image of the bunch...

{app: Lo-mob; effect: Photocard Three}
4. I can be a little sneaky. One of my favorite things about iPhoneography is the element of surprise.  If you come to New York City beware of my tendency to take random photos of strangers, especially on the subway.  I may look like I am reading my email, but I am really taking your photo...

{app: Lo-mob; effect: 6x6 TtV Virage}
5. I don't need no stinkin' photoshop.   I don't have a fancy editing program.  Of course I WANT one, but right now it's not in the cards.  With the iPhone I can still be creative---both randomly and deliberately.  Some apps will unpredictably blur, saturate or discolor an image, while with others I can control the processing of a photo to give it a little bit of drama, a vintage texture, a light leak or an interesting border.  I like to call it my point and shoot with attitude.

{app: Format126; effect: LOFI}
6. I can share my photos on the go.  If you are reading this, you are likely a blogger, or at least an obsessive lurker.  We all get inspiration from each other's blogs and collectives like Mortal Muses and flickr, right?  

Well, there are two great sites that I use to instantly share my iPhone images and, more importantly, to see what my fellow camera phone junkies are up to.  I am constantly inspired to push the boundaries when I see what others are creating "just" with their phones.  With my eye'em  and posterous accounts, I can post my photos directly from my phone and immediately share a moment with the press of a button.  I've been known to waste spend some serious time on eye'em watching the live stream of photos being posted from around the world.  You can find some truly amazing images there.
Do you find inspiration in your camera phone?  If you didn't before today, I hope my post will at least get you musing about the endless possibilities. Thanks for letting me share with you today.  Now get out there and take a picture of the first thing you see...even if it's a puddle...

{app: Format126; effect: ColorPlus}
Until next time!
Christy of Urban Muser


"what inspires you?" is the the second mission of mission: MUSE series.
After you submit a "where i live" post, you may submit an entry to mortalmuses {at} yahoo.com.


  1. I must admit that I am one of those people that have always dismissed iphones but you put a seriously good case forward for thinking about them differently and I definitely will now, thankyou!

  2. this is great. I don't own an iphone but I do own a p &s that I use for the same thing. Inspirational post.

  3. i admit to having serious iphone envy. i've followed several 365 projects that use only iphone images, and the artistry and spontaneity is amazing. i love your images.

    and now i have to go and have a talk with the devil on my shoulder who keeps tempting me to upgrade my cellphone plan....

  4. I love this post. Your iPhone shots inspired my phone purchase. Thank you for musing with us. ♥ tam

  5. I love it! You listed all the reasons I want to get an iPhone. So much fun!

  6. Christy. This is a totally wonderful post! I am SO with you on the iPhone photography. And you love in New York too.....fab!

  7. A fun post! I knew I always wanted one! Your photos made me miss my home town (sniff).

    BTW - Adobe is having sales now on Lightroom and PS and PSE !

  8. thanks to my dear mortal muses for allowing me to share my love of iphoneography with everyone today!

  9. I just adore your pictures! I def use my camera on that phone way more than the actually calling people part :)

  10. I agree - Hooray for I-phone, that is definitely something I am very thankful for.

  11. These shots are all so wonderful. I agree fully about the iPhone and for me its much more about the camera since the phone pretty much decides when, who, and for how long I can talk to!

    There is something really special about being able to capture that true spur of the moment shot and the phone definitely lends to that ability. Great post!

  12. Love this post! It is a great excuse to get an iPhone, too.

  13. I've always loved your iphone photography. You have inspired me to learn a bit more about camera apps and try it for myself.
    Thanks for musing with us!