Chitwan National Park

The right tool: why one photographer brings only an iPhone to document his trips to Nepal

Chitwan National Park, Nepal. iPhone 8 Plus in HDR mode.
Photograph by Robert Rose

Robert Rose has operated the Brant Photographers portrait studio in Bellevue, WA for almost 35 years. He is an active member and past president of the Bellevue Rotary Club, a service organization and part of Rotary International. In 2006, he founded The Rose International Fund for Children (, a nonprofit aimed at helping children and young adults with disability in Nepal. Also, he’s my dad.

The emotional and storytelling potential of a powerful image remains as strong as ever, regardless of the tools used.

At least once a year, dinner at my parents’ is a bittersweet affair as dad prepares to embark on another six-week (or longer) trip to Nepal. During these trips, he’ll lead tour groups whose members have raised funds for TRIFC, he’ll check in on project sites and, most importantly, document the positive impact that TRIFC is having on some of Nepal’s most vulnerable youth.

His documentary camera of choice these days? An iPhone 8 Plus.

This came up as we were chatting about DPReview’s recent iPhone X review, and I couldn’t help but be a bit bemused that my dad, a man who built much of his portrait business decades ago with a Hasselblad 500C, was using a phone for all of his documentary travel work.

But the more we talked about it, the more I became interested in – and began to appreciate – how the phone is really the perfect tool for the job he’s trying to do these days.

The transition

iPhone 8 Plus in portrait mode. Photograph by Robert Rose

My dad started regularly traveling to India and Nepal in the late 1990s (I would → continue…

From:: DPreview