Above: Apple press images of the iPhone X studio light, contour light, and stage light effects. Credit: Apple.
Many professional photographers have been slow to react to the smartphone revolution. With their £3000 DSLR camera bodies and many lenses they stand ready to get new assignments, briefs and commissions. But from whom? Who picks up the phone to call for a photographer these days? In certain commercial niches perhaps--underwater, architectural interiors, car-auto photography, etc. (The fashion photographer was mostly replaced by the Instagram end-user a few years ago already, and the news photo-journalist by the eye-witness.)
These days, for ordinary portraits, band photography, portraits of children, and so forth, the complex photo-lighting and exposure effects now incorporated into smartphones such as iPhone X and Huawei P20 Pro ("Co-engineered with Leica") are more than adequate. The portrait effects offered by Apple on the iPhone X allow the user to create photos with the photo-effect that has been for fifty years or more the hallmark of the professional photo-portrait: shallow depth of field (whereby the subject is in sharp focus and the background aesthetically blurred out).
For many pro-photographers it is still hard to look at a smartphone and recognise that the device heralds the end of their career.
(22 February 2018)