Do smartphones have the capability to rival professional cameras like the DSLR? Perhaps not, but two London colleges are offering courses in support of iPhone photography.
According to the BBC, London's Kensington and Chelsea Colleges will be offering a course in 'iPhoneography', that will be dedicated to showing students how they can create better images with their mobile devices.
It is a London first in terms of courses available to creative students, and is a means of teaching people how to use the wide range of photography applications currently on offer.
Richard Gray, the course tutor, says that students simply need to own an iPhone and display a "passion for photography and a creative mind".
Applications including Camera+ will make a debut on the course -- but what else? Gray says that although the focal point of the evening course is to use the iPhone in photography, he will also be teaching students basic rules of photography -- including composition, colour and light.
The course entails five weekly 3-hour sessions in March and is aimed at beginners. The course syllabus includes:
- Standard preset filters, such as Camera+ and Snapseed.
- Manual editing and processing, using apps including PS Express and Filterstorm.
- Techniques such as blurring and cloning, blending and collages.
- Experimental app use, such as diptic and decim8.
- Printing, framing and networking.
Practical exercises and projects, including homework, will be part of the course. It will be taught by rigging an iPad up to a monitor to demonstrate techniques.
To enroll, the iPhoneography course costs £115 ($178 USD). Students require an iPhone and a budget of approximately £20 ($30 USD) in order to purchase apps.
It is possible that this course, if popular, can be extended to Android users in the future. Gray will also be hosting a free workshop at Apple's Regent Street Store later in the year, and plans to do some local promotion close to Kensington Chelsea College.
In terms of current interest, Grey says:
"There’s quite a few weeks before it starts, so I don't know what students I’ll have yet. But it will be really interesting to have a mix of people with and without photography experience. iPhoneography is a great force for democratisation within photography."
My firm favourite is still my DSLR together with a few different lenses and some lighting equipment, but for the times where you don't have a standard camera handy or can't afford expensive equipment, a smartphone does come in useful. Apps available don't yet match the complexity and nature of programs like Adobe Photoshop, but they do contain a variety of quick and useful effects for the amateur photographer.
I'm yet to be convinced that these types of courses can teach the skills required of professionals, but if it generates more interest in photography, then it has its benefits. It may not be popular with photography traditionalists -- but perhaps this is just the next step in the darkroom versus Photoshop debate.
Image credit: C.Osborne
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