Damon Winter took a series of amazing photos using the iPhone’s Hipstamatic app, and created a feature that won third place from Pictures of the Year International. Naturally, this has led to a lot of unwarranted bitching about whether or not the photos are legitimate. Winter’s written up a thoughtful response:
I have always loved shooting in a square format. This program allows you to shoot and — most importantly — compose in that format. I could not have taken these photos using my S.L.R. and that perhaps is the most important point to be made about the camera phone in this story. Using the phone is discreet and casual and unintimidating. The soldiers themselves often take pictures of one another with their phones and that was the hope of this essay: to have a set of photos that would almost look like those snapshots — but through a professional eye.
The beauty of a new tool is that it allows you to see and approach your subjects differently. Using this phone brought me into little details that I would have missed otherwise. The image of the men resting together on a rusted bed frame could never have been made with my regular camera. They would have scattered the moment I raised my 5D with a big 24-70 lens attached. But with the phone, the men were very comfortable. They always laughed when they saw me shooting with it while professional cameras hung from my shoulders.
I’ve always defended iPhone photography since the outset. It’s good to see someone with actual credibility doing so as well.