Not too long ago, when people wanted to shoot clear, sharp, eye-catching photos, they tended to reach for heavy cameras with big, expensive lenses.
Thanks to technology, nowadays an ever-present cell phone can do the job.
“The quality of the cameras on cell phones today is terrific; 10 megapixels is the standard, and a couple years ago that was considered a high-quality camera,” said Thomas McHugh, who chairs the department of communication arts at Luzerne County Community College in Nanticoke.
Wanting to acknowledge the power of the cell-phone camera, and eager to invite members of the community to become better acquainted with the college’s Schulman Gallery, LCCC invited photographers of all ages to submit photos for a Phone-tography exhibit that opens today.
It’s a juried exhibition, McHugh said, explaining a group of judges from the college’s photography faculty chose 85 images to be displayed. Each has been printed at 5-by-7 inches on 8.5-x-11-inch paper, so it has a border.
“They’re really good; it’s the best of the best,” McHugh said.
The rest of the submissions will be shown in the gallery via a continuous loop on “a television set with an image that looks like an iPhone over the screen and a gigantic (three-dimensional) hand holding the iPhone.”
The exhibit showcases a variety of people, scenery and objects that caught the photographers’ eyes.
“They shot people, animals, flowers, beach scenes,” McHugh said. “Some look like they were just taken on somebody’s summer vacation. There are some gorgeous waterfalls.
“Everybody has a perception of what’s good and what’s art,” he said. “When they snap a shot, just before they snap it they’re saying, ‘This is pretty nice; I should take a picture of it.’ “
Cell phones do make photography easy, fun and convenient, said 16-year-old Anna James, a Lake-Lehman High School senior whose picture of a flower is part of the exhibit.
“It’s exciting if you’re with your friends and take goofy pictures, or you see something interesting and you can document it,” she said. James went to England for vacation this summer, where she shot Big Ben and many London street scenes. Her flower photo, though, showed something that was on her family’s kitchen table at home.
“It was from a bouquet I got after a dance performance,” she said. “I was playing around instead of doing my homework.”