Learn something everyday!

6 days, 3 hours ago 8
Posted in: blog




March 24th thru the 28th a group of dear Christian brothers and sisters met in Cartersville GA to fellowship and enjoy shooting at Old Car City, the Booth Museum of Western Art, Gibbs Garden, and the Southeast Railway Museum, all close to Cartersville, GA.  On the first morning we went out to drive around Cartersville and I found this Coca Cola advertisement painted on the brick wall of a pharmacy.  It’s the olddest Coca Cola advertisement painted on a building in America.  It is repainted each year exactly as it appeared in the early 1900’s.  What is unique about this shot and the ones to follow are that they were all shot with my iPhone 12 Pro Max!


The reason for going to this event was to just spend some time with some people I really love!  I simply jumped out of the car and made this shot with my iPhone, when I processed it in the phone, I was shocked at the quality!  The next morning when we went out to Old Car City, I went in with just my iPhone.  I’ve shot Old Car Cilty many times and I really wanted to just visit with our group so I left my bag of Fujifilm cameras and lenses in the car.  I shot a lot of things that struck my eye, and later, when the rain came in, I sat in the car and processed them.  These are few of my favorites;




When visiting the Booth Western Museum of Art, I came across this painting that really struck me, I simply held up my iPhone and made a shot of it, when I cropped out the frame and processed it I was amazed at the quality!!!




So what am I getting at?  For years I have been puzzled by how the young folks have abandoned “real” cameras to use their smart phones to make images.  I understood that the instant gratification of posting images and getting likes was a big appeal to them, but I never really gave the iPhone/smart phones credit for being a serious imaging instrument!  So what does this shocking revalation say to me???



First, I do not intend to abandon using my “real” cameras, however I do realize, now, that used in the right place and time and treated with respect as an imaging device, the smart phone is a “real camera!”  In a time and place that I want to relax and enjoy the day, and not “work” at imging, the smartphone can be a great carry around camera.  What it lacks in versatility and range of lenses it makes up for with convenience!



For me the act of photographing has always been about the joy I get from doing it, the process, the act of seeing, and then trying to capture what interests me to then share with others, or simply keep for myself!  Not every image I make is intended to be for profit or a work of art, lots of things I photograph are just things that appeal to me.  In those moments, I get the same joy from shooting with my Fujifilm X-H1 or my iPhone, it doesn’t matter, the act is the same, the result must first be joy!


No one is more of a gear hound than me, I own a number of Fujifilm bodies and a couple of dozen lenses and I enjoy using them immensely, but the most joy is from seeing something that I believe, with a little effort, I can turn into a photograph, an image, and use it to tell a story!



So I hearby apologize to the millenials that only shoot with their phones, go for it young people, and enjoy the process of telling your story!  Dive deep into the joy of seeing, crafting and making your images!  I’m truly sorry I doubted you, you are certainly on to something!



A guess even old dogs can learn a few new tricks, just don’t ask me to jump too high!





the pilgrim



8 Responses

  1. James Haverstock says:

    Bill, you are as gracious as you are talented. And that is quite, quite gracious! Old Car City always shines bright when you are there, no matter the camera.

  2. James Haverstock says:

    Bill, you are as gracious as you are talented, and that is quite, quite gracious indeed. Old Car City always shines brighter when you are there, no matter the camera.

    • admin says:

      Wow, you said that twice!!!! Love you brother! A man is judged by the friends he keeps, so with you as my friend, that’s big praise indeed!

  3. Ellen K. Rudolph says:

    Bill, I am absolutely thrilled by the iPhone 12 PRO MAX.
    You can also get a Sunwayfoto CPC-01 Arca iPhone holder for it at:


    GO FOR IT! This HOLDER is fabulous for a lightweight tripod/monopod.
    Dr. Ellen

  4. Bill Fortney says:

    Donna Martin showed me one a year ago and I have it!!! You’re right, it’s great!

  5. Bill Fortney says:

    All these shots were hand held though!

  6. Dick Ginkowski says:

    Your observations, Bill, are spot on. Photography evolves. I remember when Don Nelson had Michael Reichmann and I down to Grandfather Mountain to talk about digital photography. Michael was brand as a heretic when he pronounced film’s death. A couple of years later they were all shooting digital.

    iPhone photography is a different beast — a new kind of photojournalism. It’s as if immediacy is the key and little or no thought is given to much else. Those images are nice for family and friends but at the same time something is missing.

    Sam Garcia talked about having but one photo of a grandfather he never knew. It was his only connection to him. The transitory immediacy of today’s image posting foregoes any permanency or recording history for posterity and that’s what seems to be missing. Will 30-40-50 years from now people not have a photo in their wallet like Sam Garcia carried around?

    That said, our friend Tony Sweet (who could find an image in a toilet bowl with a pinhole attachment on an iPhone) has done some great iPhone photography. It’s hear to stay.

    • Dick Ginkowski says:

      Oops…”here” to stay.

      And Mr. Gear-hound I highly recommend to you the Fuji 70-300mm lens. I’ve had it for a week or so and — wow — sharp and versatile. Though not officially “macro” it does quite nicely and without any attachments! I was very, very surprised at that.

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