The first time I realised you could take excellent photos with a small smart phone was 2013. Prior to that, I pretty much ignored them. When my DSL camera died a slow and grisly death that year, I pissed around debating what to purchase for months. I used a little point and shoot NIKON off and on, but I'm incredibly lazy when it comes to carting a camera around so I didn't carry it with me very often. Well the ice storm over the 2013 Christmas holidays pretty much were a revelation.
When the ice storm hit, the Toronto looked like it was encased in a snow globe. Scarey as hell, but breath takingly beautiful. I couldn't find the NIKON so I grabbed my Nokia smartphone and went out to grab a few shots, hoping to get one or two decent ones as a reminder of the storm. I was actually very surprised at what came out. Here's the first one I looked at:
I took one look at this and I thought "Cool, sugar plums!". The crab apple tree, across the road, was completely coated. I cropped out the bit of the apartment that peaked out at the edges, but otherwise, untouched.
These are my favourites:
From the same crab apple tree. Again, no filters, no flash and no retouching in Photoshop. I didn't venture out too far, it was way too slippery and I'm not fond of broken limbs, so I only have a handful of photos.
I've found since then, that smartphones are excellent for closeups. I do fust about with various settings and apps now, but on this day I left the phone on auto so the camera picked the best options. All the photos were 72 ppi because I'd never bothered looking at any settings before and wasn't particularily interested in experimenting.
The phone in this case was a very basic Nokia pay as you go. A true no frills phone, that has sinced been replaced with another Lumia. But ...
... sometimes, you just get lucky. It's not always the camera, the filters or anything but the perfect conditions.