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iPhone photography confab coming to S.F.

On October 22, the 1197 event will bring enthusiasts and experts together to talk about how to best use Apple's smartphone as a camera. CNET will be on hand.

Can the iPhone be a great camera? Are there ways to best use the Apple smartphone to take terrific photos?

These questions and many more will be the subject of 1197, a one-day symposium taking place in San Francisco on October 22 (and honoring the date of the first cameraphone photograph on June 11, 1997). I'll be covering the event, both because I think there will be interesting stories coming out of it, and because I'd love to better understand how to get the most of out of my iPhone's camera.

I know, of course, that it's a smartphone and not a high-end dSLR, so I'll never expect the iPhone--or any other cameraphone, for that matter--to be able to take professional pictures. Then again, I've often used an iPhone 4, and before that, an iPhone 3G, to take photos that were good enough for publication online.

But I also know that there are people who have spent a heck of a lot more time thinking about this subject than I have, and those are the people that I'm excited to listen to at 1197.

The event will focus on a number of issues, including, according to the event's Web site, helping attendees learn about "composition, app stacking, and story telling specifically for camera phones." There will also be "talks about journalism, photo techniques, engineering, and the user experience of mobile photography."

Speakers include a number of accomplished photographers, such as Richard Koci Hernandez, Dan Cristea, Teru Kuwayama, and the man seemingly credited with taking that first cameraphone picture, Philippe Kahn. I have to admit I'm particularly interested in hearing what Kahn has to say since he was the founder of the once high-riding Borland Software, where I worked for more than two years in the 1990s.

Tickets for the whole day are selling for $149, with afternoon-only admission going for $75. But CNET readers can get a 20 percent discount. I hope to see you there.