on landscape The online magazine for landscape photographers

How did it all happen?

Joe Cornish shares a voyage of discovery with a phone.....

Joe Cornish

Joe Cornish

Professional landscape photographer. His personal website is www.joecornishphotographer.com/



Around ten years ago, when (from my point of view) shooting 5x4 inch film was the only show in town, I was one of a number of photographers asked to participate in a BBC series about digital photography. The presenter, Tom Ang, asked me to use a phone, to see how I got on with it and how I could apply it in daily use.

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It was embarrassing in retrospect; I shamed myself by completely failing to adapt to the challenge of the new-fangled 2-megapixel white wonder (I don't recollect the make or model). A 4-second delay to the press of its 'shutter' was especially frustrating, and on its small screen the colour and general quality hardly inspired the imagination. I tried everything I could think of, including shooting from the roof of my camper van, using a tripod designed for a 10x8, and in the hunt for novel viewpoints I also managed to drop it off the side of the pier at Whitby harbour, after which, to my astonishment (and regret) it continued to work normally. I was reminded of this incident by anyone who had caught the series for years afterwards. Admittedly at this point I was still wrestling with Photoshop, and then only with 300+mb files, so my antipathy for this daft digital phone camera gimmick was almost limitless. How could anything this small be any good, and besides, why put a camera on a device designed for spoken conversation…? Obviously, it'll never catch on, I thought.

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