Sign of the Times (or: “Has $13,000 Worth of Camera Gear; Uses Phone Instead”)

by Joey deVilla on April 9, 2012

Photojournalist taking photo at the scene of an F-18 crash. She has lots of expensive camera equipment with her, but she's shooting a picture with her iPhone. Caption: "Has $13,000 of camera equipment / Uses phone instead"

Found via Reddit. Click to see at full size.

This is a photo of a photojournalist taking pictures at the scene of the recent F-18 crash in Virginia. She’s got at least 2 SLR-type cameras and 3 telephoto lenses that we can see, but in the photo, she’s taking a picture with a mobile phone, leading to the funny meme caption.

With all those fancy cameras at her disposal, why is she taking pictures with a phone? Probably because it can do what her cameras can’t: quickly send a photo, whether it’s to the news organization she’s working for, or quickly post it online.

Once again, I’m reminded of William Gibson’s quote from the short story Burning Chrome: “The street finds its own uses for things,” and that’s certainly the case for mobile tech.

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Margot Lewis April 9, 2012 at 11:13 am

There could be another reason for grabbing a cell phone photo. On the few occasions I am shooting for a client, they own all the shots I take with my gear. I sometimes grab a shot with my cell, for me, as a status update, or just a momento of the event.

2 Mark Jaquith April 9, 2012 at 2:10 pm

There isn’t a really good way (that I have found) to get photos from a professional SLR onto your phone. I would pay up to $150 for a dongle that did that. SLRs take the best pictures, but you have to get to a computer to actually share them. I want a way to, in a iOS camera app, choose “SLR” as a source, snap a photo, and have it appear on the phone for instant sharing.

3 Joey deVilla April 9, 2012 at 2:17 pm

Mark Jaquith: I’m pretty surprised that there isn’t some kind of Bluetooth- or other wireless way to easily transmit a photo from a DLSR to a phone, even if at reduce quality or size. Maybe that will come as point-and-shoot cameras slowly vanish as they get subsumed by smartphones.

4 Douglas King April 9, 2012 at 3:39 pm

Joey deVilla: There is indeed such a thing: … it’ll send to your phone, ipad, tablet or computer.

My take on using a cell phone camera is this: He seems to have long lenses on his SLR cameras. If he wanted a quick wide angle shot, a cell phone gives that without taking time to change lenses. Low quality and get the shot beats high quality and miss it, IMHO.

5 Tim April 9, 2012 at 10:51 pm

Are you looking for I’ve not ever used it but they do seem to fit the description of what you’re looking for and they’re even less than $150.

6 Gordon April 17, 2012 at 7:26 am

I think my sister will get a kick outta this.. Those things around her neck are no longer camera’s photography devises, they are simply the badge she wears that indicates to others that she is in fact, a professional. Seems like a lot of work, considering a press badge would likely do the trick.

7 doctecazoid May 7, 2012 at 1:07 pm

Hmm, are we 100% sure this is not a photoshop job? Zooming in to the hands holding the phone, it kinda looks bogus. The fact that it’s a compressed jpg obscures things further.

8 tahoar August 8, 2017 at 11:07 am

Great pic! It powerfully demonstrates that professionals have the power of choice to pick the right tool for the job!

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