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Tuesday, 01 August 2017


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Excellent photo. And I think it's a sterling example of how good iPhone technology is, rather than a sample of deficiency. Look at how it manages to handle the widely divergent light levels -- daylight outside the window, dark areas inside, and the subject in a pool of lovely light just right for the combination of Butters on a buttery hardwood floor. I could spend the rest of my life trying to achieve that with my "real" camera and never make it.

And I thought I was the only photographer who was constantly making small variants of the same household shot in the hope that eventually one of them would work: https://www.flickr.com/photos/chriskernpix/35532555140/in/datetaken-public/.

Commercial photographers make pictures on demand while we make pictures as they happen.

The iPhone is the only camera that I own on which the image it captures is perfectly displayed upon its own screen.

On the other hand, Mike, that small phone sensor and its short lens give you extended depth of field into the yard, which I feel contributes to this particular pic. I also admire the framing, all the parallel vertical elements. (Butters, too, of course.)

Great Shot. This story reminds me of a posting several years from yours...something going back to get another or better shot or maybe just a nice shot seen without a camera and futilely going back and the shot is not there. Remember several years ago we all had the good phone.

I love the photo.

As for a print, try White Wall....my guess is if they can't get a good print out of it, no one can.

I hope you can get a good print from it. It's a beautiful shot. If it were me, I would mount the photo near the bottom of the stairs, replacing the floral print that we see a bit of in this photo.

Please check spelling. Emmett is spelled with two t's. I'm perhaps hypersensitive to this because my own son is named Emmett.

Quick question from fellow dog owner - I thought Butters was a very unusual name until I met a neighbor who also has a Butters. Didn't get a chance to ask where the name came from, so I thought I'd ask Mike.

["Butters Stotch" on the TV show "South Park." Which I've never seen even once--my Butters came to me already named, and the dog behaviorist at the shelter suggested I not try to rename him. The name is fine with me and seems to fit the dog (who is a sweetie, exceptionally gentle and warmhearted) so I've kept it. --Mike]

Get rid of the goddamn iPhone. Use it as a answering machine and leave it in a drawer. Get a small 1-inch camera and carry it around -- it won't weigh any more than the iPhone and you can get very good prints from it. There's increasing good evidence that cell phones are the tools of the devil -- how many people have lost their lives because of them? (In the last couple of weeks, a woman in Santa Fe was struck down and killed on her way to coffee, by a car driven by a woman on a cell phone.) Cell phones interrupt your day: how in the hell can anyone concentrate when any idiot with another cell phone can call you up anytime he/she feels like it -- and then expects you to be civil, despite the rude interruption? Cell phones could be the end of feminism -- women were well on their way to taking over the world, and then cell phones were invented, and now they spend entire days happily dealing with dozens of irrelevant and useless messages and phone calls. How many times have you seen three women walking down the street side-by-side, each of them clutching a cell phone? How many times have you seen a couple sitting at a cafe table, both looking at their cell phone instead of each other? Who really needs to know that a friend just walked into the mall, anyway? Tools of the devil, I'm telling ya.

I also photograph a subject repeatedly though have given up on the idea of perfection, thank Dog.

Lovely photograph.

Having tried to photograph my past pets without much success, I know well the mild frustration you've experienced when it comes to bringing all the elements together for a photo.

Fortunately, my current pet -- Miss Abby -- is as much a ham as a poodle and loves to stand in front of my camera for photos. She's even tolerant of a flash being popped in her face, because her fur color makes it very difficult for me to properly balance the subject and background exposures otherwise.

As for the print-size limitations imposed by your iPhone, perhaps the best camera is not always the one you have with you, as the saying goes?

Personally, I never want to find myself in your situation, which is why always keep my RX1 nearby and/or carry it around with me whenever Abby and I go for a walk.

It is indeed a lovely picture. The fact that a phone can capture pictures like that is still amazing to me.
The Idea of going back again and again and again, is something I strongly believe in as well. Even if I eventually succeed, it doesn't stop.I simply say I have a new high water mark for the idea but anticipate an even better result.
This kind of persistence is often rewarded through a combination of serendipity and the fact that we gain experience.

But it also highlights another issue, namely that as good as phone cameras are, when we get something special, we usually wish we had used the 'other camera'.

PS, What if Lulu reads the Blog.....??

Pets are great for practicing Bresson's decisive moment. This is mine:

(disclaimer: it wasn't shot with an iPhone though. I wouldn't touch and iPhone with a ten foot pole)

I love it. A very peaceful relaxing picture. Makes me feel good looking at it. Thanks.

Mike, that picture is so exactly to my taste that it's uncanny. The light, framing, and restrained palette are gorgeous.

Mike, you mention that you think it would be very hard to make a good print from this photo... which some readers may take as a challenge. Would you want to make the original file available here, and let people take their best shot at a fine print... they'd send the prints (and the print's details) to you, via good old US Postal System, and you'd judge (and report) the results?

Just a thought (and a challenge, sorta!).

Hi Mike:

The picture of Butters is nice. I have been doing similar...trying to get decent photos of my good natured subject, Bubbles. She is a Cairn Terrier and rarely sits long enough for me to get up to speed on my canine portraits. A recent one is as follows: this assumes I can figure out how to link a photo.

c'mon, there must be one good shot of Lulu.

You mention one dog is photogenic and one not so much... When our nephew-in-law met our two dogs, he said, "Tully (a husky) is beautiful, but I'd go have a beer with Jefferson (just a mutt)."

Well, If you like a good print, you can not be happy with a phone photo, you have to take the photo again with your best camera in raw. When it's printed this way, you always have that feeling in your head that says: 'It could be better, if only I ...'.

I’m an ace at printing tough images. I’ll run one for you, as a small gratitude for all the great stuff you post. Send me the full size file and I’ll make it happen

As others have stated, this is a lovely photo. I have a few half-way decent photos I've made with my iPhone (6s) and just yesterday I was musing about having a good print made, and how large could a print be that I would like. I'm going to choose one and have my printer give it a go.

I use Peter Thomas at Editions Printing in Rochester. You would like him a lot, Mike; he's a really nice guy and very good at what he does. He worked at Kodak (of course) and used to be a paper products representative. We've developed a good relationship and after printing several of my TMax shots he's even mused about getting his RB67 out for a spin; he hasn't shot film in years.

And he's relatively close to you. :)

As others have offered, I would be happy to make a print for you. Just send or post a file. And I'll send a Canson Baryta print back.

It is a lovely photo.

Yet another printing comment (sorta): The LightRoom LR app on the iphone can create a RAW .png file, which *ought* to allow for better prints. You might try it, just for fun (as could any of us with an iphone, I just haven't done it yet... if/when I do, I'll let you know the results).

A lovely photograph! And if you had to "settle" for a magical 6" print, would that be so bad? Also, you could keep trying... ;)

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