Best Camera for Illustrators?

Q. What is the best camera for an illustrator?

A. The one you will carry with you at all times.

Pumpkin head and iPhone photo by John Fronza © 2011

If that has to be your phone, fine, get good at taking pictures with your phone. Here are some amazing shots taken on the iPhone by John Fronza, an artist and the bass player in the Voyage of Slaves. (Click the band’s name only if you like death metal and you are not in the library!) He always has phone handy, so he has this camera with him.

Cat © 2011 John Fronza

Fronza uses his iPhone’s $1.99 hipstamatic app for memorable images like these. He makes it look easy. Love the retro feel, it is as if they were taken by a Kodak Brownie, or a Holga, that old Eastern European plastic camera. Nice format, too. Like the song says: It’s hip to be square.

Bananas © 2011 John Fronza

Some say the iPhone will be the death of the digital camera. Maybe, but meanwhile the picture-taking ability of the iPhone is driving the point and shoot camera makers to add features and innovate. They are adding better image stabilization, Hi-def video, and some wild special effects, including miniature and toy camera modes. Next post we will take a look at the spectacular effects you can get with the Canon Elph.

Tom Huck in his office at Evil Prints @2010 John Fronza

Generally, I use the term illustration for non-photographic artwork used in the service of a story or concept.  In my work, I only use photos for reference. The fact is, creative photographers capture images that if paired with the right text make for splendid conceptual illustrations. Fronza’s work could illustrate some weird and spooky stories.

That last image reminds me: Evil Prints Woodcut Boot Camp 2012 is open for registration. Want learn how to make woodcuts? This is the place to go. It’s where I met Fronza. Talk about weird stories!

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