Mark Simpson“It is often said that your best camera is the one you have with you, this is certainly true of the iPhone,” says photographer Mark Simpson.

The iPhone is always with me

“My iPhone goes everywhere with me and I have always found it invaluable for reference shots as in good light the exposure and white balance are spot on. I use it a lot while walking to and from landscape locations and hardly ever use a digital compact camera now.”

“It is also very handy when my main camera is already set-up on the tripod waiting for the correct light and something unusual occurs, such as the AgustaWestland AW101 Merlin helicopter flying low over Durdle Door, or when I see something amusing like the ‘British Hairways’ Gents Hairdressing Lounge on the Isle of Anglesey.”

Durdle Door Merlin

The iPhone’s strengths and limitations as a camera

“I’m not one for chasing the latest iPhone every time they are upgraded and still find the iPhone 4S to be more than adequate as a phone and a camera.

“The 4.3mm lens is equivalent to 35mm in full frame digital terms and in good light the 8 megapixel sensor is capable of very good results.

“The opium poppy field image (right) has been printed to 18 x 12 inches by and most people are amazed that it is a phone image when they see it hung on the wall.

“It is worth remembering the limitations of the iPhone camera though and it works less well in low light or directly into bright sunlight.”

Useful apps

“Over the years I have used many Apps including Hipstamatic (for the image of Boscombe Pier below) and 645 Pro (Mullion Cove in Cornwall below), but now prefer to just shoot the image ‘straight’ and then edit it in Snapseed afterwards as it gives more flexibility.

“Snapseed is great for making ‘gritty’ images of subjects with lots of fine detail like trees, rocks etc. without everything taking on that extreme HDR look.

The current version also maintains the full image size rather than resizing to 2048 pixels like it used to.

“I don’t worry too much about digital noise on the iPhone images, often it adds to the feel or drama.”

Mullion Cove

Mullion Cove

Make sure you have enough battery

“Although the iPhone is a great camera and has lots of useful apps for the photographer, the most important thing to remember is that your phone could be your lifeline if anything goes wrong while you are out shooting in remote locations.

“So, always make sure you have enough battery power left to make a call if necessary.”

Boscombe Pier

More about Mark Simpson

“My interest in photography goes back as long as I can remember with my first camera being a Kodak Instamatic 33 in 1969 that I obtained after collecting tokens from Bazooka Joe bubble gum.

“I worked as technical manager for Kyocera Yashica in the 1990s, primarily with the superb Contax range of cameras.

“Over the next 15 years, I photographed various aspects of motorsport professionally and went fully digital early in 2000, firstly with the 3.1 megapixel Canon EOS D30 (£1850!) and then the 4 megapixel Canon EOS 1D (£4750!!).

“In the last few years the motorsport photography marketplace has declined drastically so I had to look for an alternative and eventually settled on landscape photography. I live on the edge of the New Forest in Hampshire, and run tuition workshops and photo tours all over the UK.”

For more information about Mark check out his website and social media

Twitter: @ElecLemonade
Instagram: –

All views and recommendations expressed in this blog are those of the photographer only


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