When it comes to street photography, I don’t think there is any advantage in aiming at people with a huge reflex camera, because by doing so you start some kind of interaction with your subjects, and as a result, they no longer act naturally. You are much more inconspicuous if you use an iPhone. There are many tricks that let you hide the fact that you’re taking photos: “making a phone call”, shooting from the hip, triggering the camera with the volume controller, and others. However, for one thing, these tricks don’t always remain undiscovered, and for another thing, the results are often disappointing: The subject is not even in the picture, the photo is blurred…
The external lens is an accessory that has been around for a little while – it can be either clipped onto the iPhone or held in your hand, and is connected to the phone by WiFi. I am very fortunate to be the owner of such a device – the QX100 by Sony. By holding the lens in one hand and the iPhone in the other, I can target my surroundings calmly and almost completely undetected. It just looks as though I am looking at my emails or reading something.
But how does this actually work technically? The mobile phone and QX are connected to each other by WiFi. This does take a little while, so unfortunately it is not possible to take spontaneous photos. When lens and phone are connected, you start the Playmemories app, which turns the iPhone into a monitor and you will be able to see the section captured by the lens. You can release the shutter directly from the lens as well as via the app. And nobody will have noticed anything! So for me, this makes the QX the perfect gadget!
By the way, the QX is also fantastic for taking selfies: screw the lens onto a tripod or put it on a safe, even surface, line it up, trigger remotely via app, done 😉
About the author: uwa scholz. aka @uwa2000 on Instagram. Grew up in Berlin. Cell phone photographer. On Instagram since July 2011. Street photographer by coincidence. I document the city, but other Instagramers call me a street photographer. I’m currently traveling through Europe and the USA.