IPHONE VS. DSLR CHALLENGE | Casey McCauley Photography

To see which is image is either D S L R  or   I P H O N E  : Hover your mouse over the image, If on phone select image to view.

First a bit about you, your years in the industry and why you love photography?

Hey there, I’m Casey! Wife, mother, cheese and coffee lover (although not the two together, eek). I’m married to my best friend and together we have two boys (ages 7 and 20 months) along with two furry ladies who keep us plenty busy. We currently live in Peoria, IL, a small city a few hours outside of Chicago. For years, being a musician was the creative force and drive in my life, but after becoming a parent, it no longer made sense to be out till the wee hours of the morning playing to the bar crowd. I just didn’t have the zest for it in the same way. Not long before my son turned three, I finally decided to take “the camera” out to the park. I mean, I read the manual, so clearly I knew what I was doing. Right? Ugh, no….but, what I did know is that I was officially hooked. Photography was exactly what I needed in my life. If I am completely honest, my love of photography first grew out of learning, teaching myself something new. It really wasn’t until I found my voice in photography that the drive to document began. I think I have always observed people like a documentarian, but until I had a camera in my hand, my love for it hadn’t yet come alive. That day at the park was almost five years ago. I am still learning and documenting. Loving every minute of it!

How do you feel about the threat to photography because of the new efficiency and versatility of phone cameras?

In my personal experience, I have learned so much about my photography style simply by shooting with my iphone, and would never see this tool as a threat to photography. In fact, I see it as the opposite. An asset to those who pursue photography. From the beginning, I only saw it as another, different tool through which to see the world. The challenge of shooting with my phone was completely different than shooting with my DSLR. While not the same technically, or as complicated, I found that shooting with my phone really gave me that calm to really see the moments. Especially in the beginning when I was still learning how to shoot manually with my “big girl camera”. I was able to see the moments and shoot, rather than panic about the exposure triangle. I was able to take the time to see the light and really observe it, and try new things.

How often do you shoot with any of the given devices? (meaning do you shoot daily with either)

I shoot with both my iPhone and my DSLR daily. I will often use my iPhone with a little more spontaneity because it’s always so conveniently with me. There are definitely times that are less ideal, especially with a super active toddler, for me to have my DSLR with me when I leave the house. It’s much easier at home to use my big camera. To truly document, I need to have it out and ready so I’m not fiddling around in my bag and I might miss those important moments. So, chasing a toddler around in public, and being 100% present sometimes comes at the sacrifice of not using my big camera sometimes. Depending on what I am working on, or what I would like to accomplish, I will always have one or the other with me. Lately, I’ve been shooting more often with my DSLR as I have started filming with my camera on a regular basis. Motion is my new jam!

Do you feel like Phone images can have the impact of DSLR ones.?

I truly do. You can capture all of the same elements with your phone. (dynamic light, mood, moment, movement, etc.) Some of my most favorite images over the years have been shot with my phone. For a few years now, I’ve been printing my iPhone images in books from Artifact Uprising. My kids love to look through them over and over. I have more recently, printed and framed, several iphone images for my walls at home. After all, they are our memories, and would impact us just the same if taken with any other camera.

How do you feel about Iphone only photographers?

iPhone only photographers?…“Hell, yeah”. That’s what I say about that! I say…be you, whatever that is. If you don’t need a fancy, expensive, technically savvy camera to document the world you see, then more power to you. It’s not about what tools you use, its what you create that really matters. From my own personal experience, shooting often with both an iphone and dslr has only helped me become a better photographer. I don’t look at a phone camera as a camera that is less than. In fact, a little over a year ago, I was accepted as a ClickPro member at Clickin Moms by submitting a set of 200 iphone images. To me, I had nothing to lose by submitting images that I was proud of. I had found my voice in photography by shooting with whatever tool I felt like using at the time.

Tell us about your processing, is cohesiveness important to you? 

Usually my process with editing iPhone images is to edit in VSCO on my phone. I typically will edit using A6 or C3 depending on the image. I usually lower the opacity between 4-7 on those images. I will typically bump the contrast +1 or +2. Clarity +.5 or +1, and Sharpen at a 2. iPhone images typically look pretty sharp. Occasionally, I will just hand edit. For this project, I edited all the images raw in LR either hand edits or using the VSCO film packs 00 and 01. I love the fuji presets and the Kodak Gold presets. I will always tweak some good amount, and will most often adjust the split toning to my liking as well.
I wanted to edit both images, in this case, as close to exact as possible. I find the white balance in the iPhone is almost spot on. So much closer than with my Mark iV. I never custom white balance cause…”aint nobody got time for that.”
As far as cohesiveness,

I think so. Only until recently did I really even post much dslr work online, which seems so behind the times, I know. But, looking at what I found with shooting with my phone so frequently, I wanted both my voice and style to show through no matter what I was shooting with. Make sense? In a sense, the iPhone helped me find my shooting and editing style…so in essence it taught me how to achieve the results I wanted when using my dslr. Which really helped me achieve cohesiveness in my work ..and specifically for this challenge, I wanted to push cohesiveness as far as I could.



Finally,  What gear was used to achieve both iphone and dslr images? 

-Canon 5d Mark IV

-Sigma 35mm 1.4 Art

-Iphone 7plus

VSCO 01 – Fuji 160 – (tweaked) VSCO 00 – Kodak Gold 100 – – (tweaked) I may have hand edited a few, just can’t recall which ones.



Casey McCauley is a silly, loud-talking, music making, coffee addict. She resides in central Illinois where she spends the majority of her time juggling and documenting a magical life at home with her two boys, two giant furry ladies, and her comic-book making husband. In her spare time you may find her dancing in the kitchen, planning her next road trip, or riding the occasional roller coaster. (arms up, of course!)




4 thoughts on “IPHONE VS. DSLR CHALLENGE | Casey McCauley Photography

Leave a Reply

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