If you go into any restaurant these days and look at the diners who are eating alone, most of them are likely to be playing with their smartphones. Some of these folks are checking email and some are surfing the web. Others, like me, are often using the camera in their phone to take and process photos. For example, creating semi-abstract images of packets of sugar while waiting for the first cuppa of the morning.

Sugar Packets by Harold Davis
Sugar Packets © Harold Davis

It’s well known that the iPhone camera is now the most used camera in the world. If not the world’s best digital camera, it is the camera that is always with one. But—like more professional digital cameras—if you treat it as just another camera that renders static and realistic images via a sensor (instead of film) you are missing most of the creative potential.

Digital photography is a completely new art form and a whole new ballgame. This is true if you make digital images with a DSLR, and also true if you create with an iPhone. New mediums require new thinking, new tools and new ways of seeing.

Case in point: While bored and waiting for breakfast in a restaurant on a recent trip, I created the image of sugar packets shown in this story using the Slow Shutter Cam iPhone app. Somewhat astoundingly, Show Shutter Cam lets you adjust effective shutter speed, blur, and exposure after the fact—you tweak these things following composition and image creation, and then save the image to the Camera Roll.

In other words, I was able to completely control the blur in the impressionistic image of sugar packets I had made by adjusting a slider after the photo had been made.

A new paradigm. Sweet.

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