It's Not The Camera, It's The Photographer... But Also It's the Camera

This will be one of those 'you know what grinds my gears moments'. I've seen a couple of blogs such as Prismatic ( discussing the iPhone Photography Awards™ (IPPAWARDS) and how they really honour the skill of photographers. Some say it "proves" that it is the photographer and not the camera. I call some serious BS on that. While I think the photographer obviously matters the final product is directed effected by the equipment they choose (and know how) to use.

Yes you can take some lovely photos on your smartphone. I suppose it can prove that someone recognizes a good lighting scenario or they know how to compose an image well. But I would not say that proves they are great photographers. For most of these photos the photographer aimed and pressed a button. There are no creative or technical choices to be made. They should call this the "Right Place At The Right Time Awards". I would say most great photos are the right place and the right time, but at the same time there are usually technical decisions made to create that photo. They choose their settings to create a photo for their vision.

I'm not saying the photos that won are not good photos, but I would argue they would be better if taken with a DSLR. The photographer would have more choices in how to create and process that photo. The big difference would be that in other lighting scenarios there would be little chance that the photo would have the same impact. Whereas with proper equipment there would be more of a chance of creating the look you wanted more often.

As an example there is a sunset picture that won an award. Not great lighting, very grainy, not very impactful. If taken with a proper camera that photo could have much greater impact. Better dynamic range, less grain, etc... There is a picture of a person walking on  a glacier. The photo to me lacks the grandeur that the scene deserves. These are nice "snaps" and the photographers lucked out in taking these photos in my opinion. They did not create amazing images, they just pressed a button, maybe two if they added a nice instagram filter.

If anything these photos prove that smartphone cameras have become extremely sophisticated and a person with a good eye can take nice snaps on them. All the power to them. I would rather have my Nikon any day of the week.