TIME Magazine uses photo taken with Apple iPhone 4S as cover image

“The photographer behind the iPhone photograph that graced the cover of TIME Magazine this month has said that Apple’s smartphone camera gives the advantage of being able to instantly share images, and that it’s not the equipment that determines the quality of a photograph, it’s the photographer’s mind,” Ashleigh Allsopp reports for Macworld UK.

“Ben Lowy is a ‘conflict photographer,’ travelling to Afghanistan, Libya, Iraq to capture the dramatic scenes taking place there, and, more recently, to the US during Hurricane Sandy,” Allsopp reports. “Often, Lowy uses just his iPhone 4S combined with some photo editing apps and external battery packs to produce his images.”

Allsopp reports, “Lowy says that he takes two iPhones (one as a backup) and Mophie Juice Packs for an extra battery boost, and a Manfrotto LED light with him on assignments. To edit his photos, Lowy uses iOS apps Hipstamatic and Snapseed, and he uses Instagram to get his pictures to TIME when he is working with them.”

TIME Magazine cover shot with iPhone 4S

Read more in the full article here.

Read TUAW’s interview with Ben Lowy Read more in the full article here.


    1. The story it tells is one of fierce winds and crashing waves.

      The graininess just helps to accentuate the deteriorating conditions.

      He took the picture and digitally enhanced the mood.

      The picture deserves to be a Time Magazine cover.

    2. As I recall, the full photo was a horizontal published inside. It was cropped to a vertical for the cover. I liked the full frame photo but the cover crop was well done.

      I’m not happy that I can’t send photos with my $6,000 Nikon D4 the way I can with my iPhone.
      For now, there’s always the iPhone apps, iStorage & Tether.

  1. As a former 84B (Army Signal Corps Photographer) it’s not my choice of camera, but whatever gets the job done. Lightweight, reasonably rugged and reliable are the most important things.

    Despite having some nice digicams, I still miss the feel and handling of a 35mm camera.

  2. It’s the Twitter of photography: creatively working within artificial constraints. Love it. (Soon enough and the image quality will be so high it won’t be worthy mentioning it was “only” and iPhone pic).

    1. Soon enough most people’s ability to tell the difference between a high-quality image and a simple snapshot will be so low that the camera used to capture a photo won’t be worth mentioning.

  3. Look, I agree that the best camera is the one you have with you. And I think the camera on the 4S is amazing, along with the technology that enables the editing and instant transmission. All that is superb. All I am saying is that the Time cover photo could have been taken by my 8 year old granddaughter. There is absolutely nothing exceptional about that photo. I find it hard to believe that Time Magazine didn’t have access to an artistically/journalistically better photo.

    1. To take that picture with a cell phone camera, the photographer had to be very close to the wave. These things don’t have telephoto lenses, you know. The image says more about the risks taken by the photographer than the intensity of the storm.

  4. Now that hundreds of millions (maybe even billions) of people have cell phone cameras, where all the pictures of UFO’s and alien beings? Or Big Foot? The Yeti? How about ghosts? Angels? Demons? Victorious Republican Presidential Candidates?

    1. Snapseed is a photo editing app by NIK who also make plugins for Mac. Unfortunately they were just bought by Google and all your data is sent to and owned by them now…MDN strangely quiet on this Google move. I’ve opted out as refuse to give access to Google to my photos but the consequences are that they refuse to give support for their products to me. Google are terrible

  5. Huh, as a photographer, I’m not all that impressed by the photo. It’s fine, but very very grainy, and the waves are not as impressive as I have myself shot with an SLR and dedicated 300mm zoom. I’d have thought Time could get a better photo than this.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.