Friday, 19 February 2016

Phone Pix

People sometimes ask my advice on buying cameras. Often they want to improve their photos and think that a new camera will be a big help in doing that. Well, it might. A new camera will help your photography in much the same way that buying a new pen will help your writing. But mostly, if you're taking crap now, the new camera will help you take better exposed and more sharply focused crap. And anyway, these days most people have a pretty good camera built into their phones. Phone cameras have excellent processing software (actually the most important bit of a digital camera), fine lenses and a good range of options for controlling the shot if that's what you want (and know how) to do.

The best way to take better pictures is to take more of them, and look at pictures other people have taken. Look at the ones that you like, and ask yourself why you like them. Try and copy them. When you find a little frustration that there are some things  your phone camera wont let you do, then is the time to start thinking about splashing out on a more versatile bit of kit.

Here are some of the pictures I have taken with phones over the years, which I am reasonably happy with and which I am not sure my fancy gear would have improved on..

 iPhone 3gs

 iPhone 3gs

 iPhone 3gs

 Sony Xperia Z1

 Sony Xperia Z1

 
Samsung Galaxy Note 4 

 Samsung Galaxy Note4

 Samsung Galaxy Note 4

Samsung Galaxy Note 4
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
Samsung Galaxy Note 4

2 comments:

Alden Smith said...

I think that the photographs of the long red finger that is pointing at the moon is a wonderful image for Lent; a time of prayer, fasting and reflection. With respect I would like to offer the following opinion as a reading.

“All words" [And Images] "about spiritual values are just hints. Don′t hold onto the words as if they are realities. They are hints, almost the way I can point to the moon with my finger - but don′t catch hold of my finger. My finger is not the moon. Although my finger was pointing to the moon, it was only a hint.
In one of the temples of Japan, there is no statue of Gautam Buddha in the temple. Instead of a statue, there is a finger pointing to a far away moon. It is a temple of its own kind - because Buddha is nothing but a finger pointing to the moon. Don′t go on worshiping the finger - that will not help. Look at the moon where the finger is pointing. Forget the finger, forget the scriptures, forget the masters, forget all your religions; just try to find out what they are hinting at, and you will be surprised to find that thousands of fingers are pointing at the same moon.
And the followers of these fingers are fighting and killing each other. Mohammedans killing Christians, Christians killing Jews, Hindus killing Mohammedans; and nobody bothers that you are fighting for fingers. The fingers may be different, but the moon is the same. The angles of the fingers may be different - because people were standing in different places at different times, in different ages. How can Krishna point exactly the way Jesus is pointing? How can Buddha point in the same way Zarathustra is pointing?
The person who seeks knowledge from these indications in the scriptures, in words, in statues is a fool. The search has to be withinwards - because they are all pointing that the kingdom of God is within you.
And unless you go inwards, unless you close your eyes and relax your mind; unless your heart, your mind, your body all become a synchronicity, a harmony, a deep accord - you will not be able to hear the still small voice within you.
And that voice is nobody else′s voice, it is your own. And remember, only the truth that is your own, liberates. Anybody else′s truth always becomes a bondage.” - Osho

Kelvin Wright said...

Thanks for that quote. It's a powerful metaphor.

I like that picture also, but remember being frustrated when I took it. Phone cameras have very wide angle lenses because about 95% of that they do is take fairly close up pictures of people and distant landscape shots. One of the things that wide angle lenses do is to reduce the size of far away objects, so my camera made the moon look very small. I wanted it bigger. If I'd had my big camera with me I would have fitted my longest lens and walked as far back as I could so that the foreshortening effect of the lens would have increased rather than reduced the apparent size of the moon. And with a raw file to work on, if the moon had still been a bit small or in the wrong place a bit of quick and easy photoshopping would have put things to right. But I had an iPhone. So, point the dinky wee thing and press the button. And as it turns out I ended up with a pic I'm pretty pleased with. Well, two actually.

So here's my lesson. A preconceived idea of what a good photo is; my manufacturing of an image vs an interaction with what was there and the discipline of working with a quite limited instrument. This is actually not a million miles from the whole central thrust of my spiritual life right now.