Standing On The Shoulder Of Giants

I have humbly become, a master and teacher of iPhone photography today, because I have, proudly and passionately, been a servant and student of photography my whole life and career.

I joyfully stand in awe today because I have forever stood on the shoulder of photography’s giants.

Steve Jobs, as great a man as he was, didn’t invent photography, January 9, 2007.

Photography existed long before Apple was even a spark in someone’s eye.

Photography has always had a colorful and storied history of greatness and grandeur.

Photography has existed for almost 200 years-from a simple pinhole box, that created blurry images, to today’s high-tech, tack-sharp, inventions of computational photography and the like.

I spend quite a lot of time working with and teaching other iPhone photographers, many of them brand new to photography. I find it odd, but sadly peculiar, how little they know about photography’s past and the photographic legends that gave birth and helped shape and define the fruits of what we enjoy today.

We can not see where we are going unless we first see where we have come from.

Yes, of course, unquestionably, my iPhone photographs, for the most part, look as they do, because I have invested much time, energy, and effort into learning the technical aspects, of not just the iPhone camera itself, but the subtleties and nuances of iPhone photography in general.

But way beyond this scientific and technological mastering, I have stood on the glorious shoulder of giants-learning, studying, observing, seeing where I fit in, correlating the past into the present, applying what I learned along the way to how I craft images today.

I am obsessed with photography’s history. For it is in this very story, that all of us, that take and make pictures, owe our birthright, foundation, and wings.

The first permanent images came in the late 1830s came from Joseph Nicephore Niepce. Then Daguerreotypes, then emulsion plates, then dry plays, then Kodak introduced consumer cameras and photography to the world.

We truly do stand on the very should of giants, of genius, of invention, of imagination, of creativity, of art, of science.

When I am publicly interviewed or written up about my iPhone photography, the focus, rightly so, always seems to be my last 10-year journey of 1 million iPhone photos, 10 cameras, in 50 countries of the world.

But truth be told, the real story is my first 30 years, where I learned to see and understand well, that it is photographers, and not cameras, that take pictures.



Jack Hollingsworth