You may have heard the saying “The Best Camera Is The One That’s With You” at some point in your photographic adventures. I don't know who coined the phrase, but I do know who is re-popularizing it: Chase Jarvis. And how is he doing it? With is phone, of course!
So Chase created TheBestCamera.com as a central hub for this whole thing. It's a place for people to share their photos created using the iPhone app. The application looks really cool, and I'd expect nothing less from somebody like Chase. I'm only disappointed with two things: 1) No iPhone for Verizon customers, and 2) No awesome photo applications for Pocket PC phones. But, neither of those things are Chase's fault, so I'll just keep my frustrations bottled up for the time being.
But even though I can't use the app, I still plan on buying the book that goes along with all of this. Chase put together a photo book of his iPhone images and it looks fantastic from what I can tell! The Best Camera Is The One That's With You is 256 pages of lo-fi inspiration. If you've seen Chase's iPhone work in the past, you know what to expect. If you haven't… well, go take a look. You could almost convince yourself that these were taken with a toy film camera and they fit right in with the Lomography vision.
The website, the iPhone app, and the book are all quite impressive accomplishments for Chase. But I think he's doing something much greater: Chase Jarvis is steering the direction of modern photography (at least one branch of it), and he's driving it with his enthusiasm for art. He's making the point that great photos can come from any camera and that having your camera in your pocket at all times is more important than having the most powerful gear on the market. And all of this started because he decided to start taking photos with his iPhone every day — in other words, a personal project of his that turned out to be much more (and on a related side note, our latest PhotoNetCast episode is on the topic of photography projects).
The concepts of using lo-fi equipment, shooting often, taking your camera with you everywhere, shooting from the hip, capturing every day life, and just getting the shot are not new concepts. Just look at the cult following of Lomography. Chase is taking these same concepts and modernizing them. Instead of shooting with a Holga or Diana, he's shooting with an iPhone — not exactly the best cameras on the market. In both cases, the images produced are not technically outstanding, but they do have a certain artistic quality that can't be found elsewhere.
At any rate, take all this as you will. I know these types of photos and ideologies don't appeal to everybody, but I'm guessing that most of you will find some part of it interesting (and maybe even inspiring). For more information, check out the following links: