Here are some of what I consider my better Cell phone images since my last post about using the phone in combination with the social media photography app “Mytubo”
Yes it’s a lot of images but taking lots of pictures helps fuel creativity, at least that’s what I tell myself.
It’s Autumn here right now and the leaves are changing colour so I though I would post a few images with that in mind.
If you can just pick up a camera and take a great picture you can stop reading now. If you are like the rest of us and have to work at creating images by all means read on. Sometimes something will catch your eye and present a good opportunity to create an image, but the first click of the shutter may not meet your expectations. It can be a good idea to look at what you want to take a picture of and consider how moving around and changing angles will effect the scene. If you find it difficult to envisage how something will look then take a picture and look at it on your LCD. I am assuming your using a digital camera, I mean who still uses film, right?
You can effect a photograph a great deal in post processing and even by cropping but by getting a composition that works to start it will ultimately yeild a better image. On the technical side consider; is what you intended to be in focus truly in focus, is there unwanted motion blur, are there other settings that are wrong such as ISO? If your pleased with the technical then it’s time to consider composition. Did you have a point of interest and is it in the best location within the frame? Are there elements in the image that you don’t want and can they be eliminated by changing your view point? There are many more questions that you can put to your self , but by engaging in the evaluation of your image you are on the path to creating better ones. What you don’t want is to do this thinking later at the computer when there is nothing you can do to improve things, or that requires editing that would not have been otherwise necessary.
For this image I started with a horizontal composition that didn’t really work. The sign took up to much of the frame and the sky wasn’t really a factor. The next image was another horizontal capture but this time I put the sign in the bottom left corner, still not as good as it could be and wires cut across the bottom corner. This is when I realized that by pointing the camera up and vertically I could include more of the cloud, making a more dramatic sky. The final decisions I made where during processing the file into an in camera jpg. I applied correction for the slight barrel distortion and increased the contrast and saturation to make the sky stand out. The final thing was to add a black border which I liked as it mirrored the frame of the sign.
Here is the photographic sequence I described, on the path to this image.
Two things are happening here I am posting some images of green things and I’m using you as a guinea pig to test out a flash gallery. Thank you for your unwitting cooperation. The thing is I have thousands of images on my blog and mostly they get mentioned and then fade away as I post even more. So after the suggestion of Nikhil Ramkarran to have my prints grouped together I’ve decided to create some galleries starting with my acll phone pictures. The first effort in that pursuit is to present the images of this blog post using a gallery that I created in Lightroom.
If you click on the image bellow you will be presented with a flash gallery of green’ness. The point of this is that it will allow me to easily control and update my galleries through Lightroom without needing to do anything with my blog.
I realize that by doing this I am currently excluding iPhone users but that is an Apple issue not mine, I can’t tailor my site just to suit one handset, sorry maybe in the iPhone 6.
UPDATE before I even posted this I have created the gallery for my cell phone images which can be found under links on the right. Cell Phone Image Gallery
Some images from my hike along the Hayward Lake Reservoir trail. There were lots of ravens in the trees always just out of sight, but seemingly keeping track of me. The early morning coupled with the thick trees made for a very dark atmosphere but the morning sun breaking through the trees and lighting the moss is something I will never tire of. It always amazes me to realize I live on the edge of such wilderness beauty and aside from a few other hikers you can enjoy the solitude undisturbed.
The bottom picture of the stream that has the tilt shift effect was processed in camera I was just playing around and thought I would include it.
Tackeling the entire spectrum of cell phone cameras and social picture sharing is a bit too much in one blog post. However the effect in how they relate to photography is of particular interest to me.
As difficult as it may be to admit, much of photography can be described as an attempt by the photographer to reproduce an image they have previously seen and liked, even if that image is one of their own. You might find this a harsh statement but it is something that even occurs subconsciously. The photographer may not be directly attempting to reproduce something but everything we have seen and remember affects our visual judgment. Paintings, television, magazines and definitely advertising of all types play a roll in determining what we consider to be “stylish”.
Several new genres of photography have emerged through cell phone imaging. There is the “these are my feet shots”, the “#me” pictures of people not yet afflicted with age. And the supremely popular “CAT” hash tag. The tendency to follow and create based on what is popular is brought to a new level through instant feedback within image sharing apps. Why wouldn’t I want people to like my images? If you really want to give up and go strictly for what people like have a look at what images have the highest popularity. Soon you will be taking pictures of your cat lying in flowers at your feet.
There are exceptions to this rule as I have discovered, dandelions gone to seed can be very well received. :)
It’s not all bad though, as a photographer it is an opportunity to have people see your images and also a chance to develop better composition skills. Look closely at an image you intend to like and think about what makes it appealing. Is it the content (#cat) or a matter of colour or maybe how something familiar looks different when photographed a certain way. You can definitely use photo sharing apps to improve your image making. The strength of these services is that you get immediate feed back (yes I am aware that was one of my negatives too, subtle difference) They also reward good simple design. A tiny cluttered thumbnail will be ignored more than a simple graphic element.
In the end though don’t take it too seriously, and enjoy photography, even if no one else likes a picture if you do that should be enough. In a future post I intend to talk about composition within a square frame, which is the format many of the social photo sharing sites use.
Images that include the sun are also very popular, sun set, sun rise, sunflower, just plain old sun, but not aSUNder.
UPDATE at the time I wrote this I was unaware that Duncan Turner had posted about Mytubo as well here is a link to his thoughts about the subject
DLTphoto . Also I unintentionally proved my point about recreating images that we have previously seen as I produced one that was very similar to one of Duncans.
As the Canon Classic and the Pentax 24EW (pronounced 2-4-EEEEEeeeewwwww) fought it out to be the supreme irrelevant the Olympus mju III was waiting for it’s moment. In a move reminiscent of Doc Brown it has vualted forward from 2003 and staked it’s claim to be the preeminent irrelevant camera from around the turn of the last century. It’s 37.5-150mm (really 1/2 a mm wider you coun’t have rounded?) lens is something to behold. That’s 150mm in a Point and shoot! I’m not aware of any PS film cameras that had a longer lens.
So why wouldn’t it just win hands down, it’s lens is the longest? The reason is that it lacks much of the control that the Pentax and Canon have such as exposure compensation and that neat feature of automatic zoom for portraits. Features like that really help when your trying to be the best of the abandoned. And the Olympus is champagne coloured, please that is so 2000. The Canon and the Pentax are a “real” camera colour silver, which isn’t really a colour because it’s just a reflection…..
So how did it perform? It took some getting used to because it seemed to want to use the flash all the time every time. This was annoying and required me to poke at teeny little buttons until the flash symbol was off every time I turned the camera on (camera on-flash off-camera off-flash on-camera on-flash off) I think you get the idea. The one feature it has and luckily is useful is the spot metering.
The results though were good, again if good had stayed the same since 2003 but good is better now than it was then, (flash-off) After all this which one would I choose you might ask if you cared. The thing is they all have a certain charm. The Pentax for it’s control and 24mm wide lens, the Canon for it’s looks and image quality and the Olympus for it’s 150mm long lens. If you thought choosing a camera a decade ago was hard it’s far worse now. There are more categories of cameras and more cameras in each category and new one replace old ones at a rate that even the all mighty internet can’t keep up with.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this little blast from the resent past, and take a moment to reflect just how much has changed between 2003 and 2013 (note if it isn’t 2013 when you read this ignore that)
If you ever wake up to go take pictures and find it to be foggy, don’t use it as an excuse to go back to bed. Difficult shooting conditions are actually an opportunity to try something new without the expectation of success. A couple of things to keep in mind is that fog is quite bright and can fool (will fool) your meter in your camera, I found on this morning that I needed to shoot with +2/3 exposure bias to adjust the camera to prevent under exposure. The other thing to keep in mind is that fog severely cuts contrast and is the most extreme example of aerial perspective. A scene that would ordinarily be too busy can be simplified when a distracting background recedes into the mist.
So to recap , fog filter bad, foggy day good. I know I didn’t mention a filter previously I just figured it was understood. And also be careful around road ways, your not the only one having a hard time seeing.