Doug Thompson


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Waiting for results on election night (shot with an iPhone 4s)

Floyd machine shop owner Joe Kenny
(iPhone photo)

A relatively new term in the “professional” journalism world: “iPhotojournalism.”

While named for the iPhone with its better-than-average camera — particularly for a camera phone — the term applies universally to anyone using a cell phone camera to capture images — both still and video — for news use.

After three years of using an Android phone, I took advantage of Apple’s introduction of the iPhone 5 to pick up an iPhone 4s for a sharply-reduced price.  The 4s has basically the same 8 megapixel camera and HD video capabilities as the 5 and I can live without the slightly-larger screen and 4G LTE speed, which is sporadic anyway in places where I spend most of my time.

In emergency situations, I used the Droid to capture news photos for online and print use but never considered it a viable substitute for my higher quality digital cameras.

And while the iPhone 4s offers good imaging — especially with apps like ProCamera — it is still a backup to my trusty Canon DSLRs.  I plan to continue exploring its use as a viable still and video tool.

Yet other photographers are putting the iPhone to use as a primary photojournalism tool.  London Guardian Photographer Dan Chung documented the Olympics this summer on an iPhone.  Bloomberg Business Week talked with photographers who use an iPhone with Instagram for news use.  Damon Winter of The New York Times put his iPhone to use covering the war in Afghanistan and won an award in the annual Pictures of the Year contest.

I’m finding the iPhone handy to grab a photo without having to dig one of my big cameras out of the bag.  In recent weeks, I’ve used the camera phone to shoot news photos of storm damage, a football game and election night.

Setting sun and vapor trails at Rocky Knob overlook on The Blue Ridge Parkway
(iPhone photo using the Hipstamtic App)


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7 Responses to iPhotojournalism

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  3. Anne Armistead November 18, 2012 at 11:22 am

    You are so missed Doug. Please heal quickly!

  4. Bob Taylor November 21, 2012 at 8:59 pm

    anyone know the latest on Doug’s condition?
    Praying for him lots
    Happy Turkey Day to all the old friends in Floyd

  5. Ramona Dixon November 22, 2012 at 6:05 pm

    To Bob Taylor…we visited Doug on 11/19. Read my comments on Doug’s article “How Many More Miles to go Before I Sleep”. There’s also an address there where cards can be sent. Hope this helps.

  6. Bob Taylor November 23, 2012 at 6:04 pm

    Thanks Romona I appreciate it very much, I know Doug won’t mind if we just use this as a update on his condition place, Bob

  7. bob stepno December 2, 2012 at 11:31 am

    Dan Casey has an update on the front page of today’s Roanoke Times:

    Being described in the third person, and in very tough shape, is not the way I want to see Doug on a front page, but it’s great to hear he’s reaching for a laptop again…