• Jeff Ascough

My Favourite Image: Mother & Child On A Winter's Beach


I've been shooting with mobile phones since 2007 when I bought a Sony Ericsson K800i. A landscape picture taken with that phone made the Landscape Photographer of the Year Collection 02, in 2008. At 3.2MP it was never going to be a match for a DSLR, but it had a charm and a look of its own. I moved from the Sony to an iPhone 3Gs with the Hipstamatic app and seriously began to use the phone as a photographic tool. As the iPhone models improved, so did the camera technology and, for me, it hit a sweet spot with the iPhone 8. I still use the 8 for all of my iPhone images, and probably will continue to do so for as many years as the iOS allows.

Why the iPhone? For me, it represents a looser, more ambiguous way of shooting. The tiny sensor and wide-angle view combined with the Hipstamatic filters gives me a look which I can't get with a digital camera.


I have spent a lot of time shooting with the iPhone, and treat the images with the same care and attention as every other image. Most of the files are processed within the Hipstamatic app, but I always keep an original un-filtered image for further processing if needed.


This image was taken on a cold December day last year. I had decided to go out and shoot with just the iPhone, something which I often do. The crisp, contrasty light was perfect for phone photography, but there wasn't a soul on the beaches. After spending the afternoon shooting on the streets, I headed south along the promenade to where my car was parked. The light was fading quickly, the temperature was dropping, and the only people on the beach were a mum and her child. I stopped and watched them for a few moments before taking four pictures with the phone. This picture is my favourite.

Compositionally, the image relies on the sweeping lines of the promenade and the position of the two figures within the frame. I shot the original with the Newtown SYD HipstaPak, designed by my ridiculously talented friend Markus Andersen. I later decided to swap the lens part of the pak for something with a little more vignetting. The contrast and grain in the image added to the bleakness of this winter scene on the beach.

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