This New Exhibit Shows That You Can Take Beautiful Photos With a Smartphone

The Phone Camera Photos exhibit runs until Jan. 30.
A photo of the exhibit taken with an iphone.
Photo: Diane Lee


Local photographers prove you don’t need an expensive DSLR camera to capture beautiful photographs—an iPhone can do the job. A new exhibit at The ARTS at Marks Garage showcases smartphone photos from 32 local photographers.


Yes, there are a few sunrise and sunset photos (hey, we live in paradise), but you won’t see a ton of selfies in this exhibit. There are more than 60 photos, from a cool black-and-white shot of a waitress outside of St. Louis Drive Inn and a mesmerizing photo of dark clouds rolling into Kyoto to an artistic collage of tangerines. 


Local food photographer Karen Jones wanted to showcase the creative work of local photographers beyond the typical “bread and butter” photos taken with professional-grade cameras. Get a glimpse of the exhibit below, then catch the exhibit from now until the end of this month. 


Rock Bridge 

Photo: Ryan Kawamoto 

In 2014, Kinetic Productions director Ryan Kawamoto used his iPhone 5s to capture this striking panoramic shot of his favorite hiking trail, the Hanauma Bay ridge. He used the Snapseed app to edit the photo to highlight the blue and orange colors in the sky. 


Watchdog No. 2


When writer James Charisma attended a costume event at the Honolulu Museum of Art in 2013, he spotted a Star Wars stormtrooper on guard and caught this photo on his iPhone 4.  



Photo: Alison Beste

In July 2015, local artist and teacher Alison Beste traveled to the seaside town of Brighton, England for the National Geographic Student Expeditions program. While working with her students, she noticed a flock of seagulls taking flight above. She grabbed her iPhone 5c, pointed the camera to the sky and started snapping pictures. “The best camera is the one you have at the moment,” she says. “I liked this particular shot with so many birds filling the frame and the way the sun’s rays illuminate the birds’ feathers.”



Photo: Philippe Gross

Kapi‘olani Community College psychology instructor Philippe Gross rarely takes selfies. In November 2015, Gross noticed his shadow on the wall while attending an art exhibit at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. He experimented with his iPad mini2 and snapped a series of photos, including the image above. The shadow selfie “captures my love of humor and sense of playfulness,” he says. 


Nine Views of a Tangerine

Photo: Franco Salmoiraghi

Hawai‘i noted photographer Franco Salmoiraghi shot several photos of a tangerine and collaged several photos to make up this impressionist-looking photo. You’ll never look at a tangerine in the same light again. 


12–5 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday until Jan. 30, The ARTS at Mark’s Garage, 1159 Nu‘uanu Ave., 525-5212. 


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