Like a Tourist
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Like a Tourist

Like a Tourist

Assignment S31

Mobile phones are ubiquitous and their cameras make a great street photography tool-they’re discrete, portable, non-threatening, quiet, and we usually have one with us. It also makes us look like “tourists” rather than photographers, and people are so familiar with them that they will behave more naturally if someone around them is photographing with a phone. 

This is a fun assignment and the idea is simple: create nine images based on a theme. The theme could be anything-commuters, dogs, gestures, bus drivers, people taking selfies, anything-but it needs to be shot exclusively on your phone. Keep the theme reasonably concise and be consistent with your interpretation; shoot either color or black and white (not both), and shoot in a square format. When you have nine images that you’re satisfied with, mount them into a multi-aperture frame in a grid format to create a great piece of wall art. 

View the images

Technique

  • Compose creatively and aim for strong, bold shapes and vibrant colors that will stand out when printed small. 
  • Beware of camera shake, which can easily kill an image and is not always evident when viewed on a small screen. Small tripods, stands, and even gimbals are all readily available for phones. 
  • Most modern cameraphones handle contrast well, so don’t shy away from bright, high-contrast scenes. 

Field Notes

  • Some phones allow you to use the volume control on the earphone cable to fire the camera. This is a great way to be discrete. 
  • There are some great free apps for post-production, such as Snapseed, or you can import images onto your computer for editing like a regular digital photograph. 
  • Some online printing companies allow you to upload your images and they will be sent back to you, printed and framed. 
  • Phone images are easy to post to social media and this is a great way to keep your lnstagram or Flickr page updated.