Images of city captured with a click of the camera phone


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Remember the days when you had to have a big, clunky camera to take photos?

Then came compact cameras, but today’s mobile phone cameras take things to a whole new level.

IDEA Claire Sambrook

IDEA Claire Sambrook

Now it’s quite commonplace for people to whip out their phone, then point and press to capture an instant image that can be e-mailed or posted on to a social networking site.

Tapping into this change, members of Portsmouth’s artistic community who run the Strong Island website are putting together a ‘phoneography’ competition and exhibition for photos taken on mobile phones.

They have around 150 so far, but are hoping for more than 500 by the time entries close in just over five weeks’ time.

Claire Sambrook, a senior lecturer at the University of Portsmouth’s Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries, is also a contributor to Strong Island and came up with the idea along with website founders Tristan Savage and Paul Gonella.

Claire says: ‘I love taking pictures around the city and I’ve sent a lot of them to phoneography websites and had them shown around the world.

‘So many people have mobile phone cameras these days, so we thought we’d ask for photos taken anywhere on Portsea Island.’

Tristan adds: ‘With the continuing increase in impressive camera technology in mobile phones and the ability to alter, tweak, post-process and upload the photos to social media networks and websites like Instagram, the popularity of phoneography has never been greater.

‘The ‘‘of the moment’’ ability to take a photo at almost any time and any place by most people has really driven the fact that the camera does not make the photographer.

‘By which I mean you don’t need an expensive camera to take outstanding photos.’

They’ve already had a wide variety of photos submitted.

Claire explains: ‘There are landscapes, people and close-ups of objects. Some of the locations are immediately recognisable, but others are not so well-known.’

Claire says her favourite phone camera image so far is The Chase by Lisa Voss.

She says: ‘It’s a very simple photograph of the sea looking towards the Isle of Wight.

‘I love it because of that simplicity, but also because the sea is one of the main reasons why I enjoy living in the city so much.’

Now she wants more people to get out and about and capture the city.

She adds: ‘We’d love to get schools and colleges involved too. It would be great to get young people taking part, even if it meant borrowing their mum or dad’s phone.’

An unusual aspect of the competition/exhibition, called Primary, is that photos must feature one of the three primary colours – red, blue or yellow.

Claire explains: ‘It’s because the basis of the naval signal flags are those primary colours.’

Paul adds: ‘It means there is a direct historical and aesthetic link to the city.’


Photographs must be taken on a mobile phone camera and contain one of the three primary colours - red, yellow or blue.

What you take a picture of is entirely up to you, but you can only enter a maximum of 10 photos.

Please submit your photo/s, along with your name, photo title, phone model, location of photo on the island and any editing apps you used to achieve the final shot/s, by e-mail to

Deadline for entries is May 4, 2012, with an exhibition being held shortly after at Bonzo Studios in Albert Road, Southsea.

Organisers say details of prizes to be awarded to the top three photos will be announced soon.