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Thursday, 10 September 2020


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Yes, that's funny.

I mainly need two things more from a phone cam (I have iPhone 10), a tele lens, and faster autofocus.

Eolake Stobblehouse

I never leave home without a proper camera, usually an old DSLR that I've written off years ago. I get the most use from cameras after I've bought its replacement and don't care about trashing it anymore. It lives in the trunk waiting.

I have always felt that when I don't have a camera, I'll see Elvis getting out of a UFO. Maybe that hasn't happened because I always have a camera.

And yeah, I have a phone that I never take pictures with.

A) Shoulda called- I remember you have the XT-1 in the car!

B) It was probably a dream anyway.

This post made me smile. I had my first smartphone for the better part of a year before it dawned on me that I had a camera with me all the time. Old dogs, new tricks?

I have a related problem. Even though I have been a 'photographer' for nearly 20 years, I often forget to take pictures. I get lost in the moment and don't even think about recording it. Then, when the moment is gone, I get to kick myself for my other-mindedness. Is it possible for people to be in the moment as an observer and as a photographer at the same time? Maybe for a more practiced artist, but for me I have to choose.

I persist in my phone-buying habit of ignoring the camera features and just getting a capable phone with a decent screen. This protects me from ever thinking that I have a useful camera. My tablet's imaging capability is quite awful, so I am just as likely to use a pencil and gas receipt to sketch an image as I am to capture one with an appliance that also takes pictures. Just not worth the effort to grab a bad photo - except when i run out of receipts, at which point I take a pic of the numbers on the gas pump for my records.

By a strange coincidence, I was on holiday in Canandaigua exactly ten years ago. The weather was not good. But it didn't matter. Nearly all of the thousand photos that I took were of different aisles or products on sale in Wegmans. Something you take for granted can seem extraordinarily exotic to a tourist from England !

[Oh. We do not take Wegman's for granted, believe me. The best grocery stores in the U.S. of A. --Mike]

Longviewer: Thanks for that idea of a picture of the gas pump when they are of paper! I hate walking to the cashier and asking for a receipt. I usually forget to look for the pump number. I recently got a new AC/Heater. When finished, the installer got his phone and photographed the ID plates of the heater, compressor, and cooling unit. He says it is better than getting a flashlight and writing down the numbers, and perhaps making a mistake.

Mike, I've been thinking - your comments are quite perceptive and probably ring true for many but don't really apply to me. Over the last 60 or so years my photography habit has evolved.

When I started with my Leica M2, I ran an observatory darkroom as well as having my own at home, so I spent lots of time making prints while developing plates from the nights observations.

I went through changing to SLRs, and after many moves gave up on the bathroom darkroom in the mid-80s. I was traveling a lot - a LOT - so I started carrying a Minox 35 with color film on my travels, sending film to Kodak or the local processors when the automatic machines came in. I sent photos to pro labs to have enlargements made.

With the advent of computers I started scanning photos in the early 90s and had my first digital camera around 1995-6. I got rid of my Nikon SLR and bought a D100 when it was introduced. All digital since.

Since the advent of the web, I've been publishing online - I did one of the first 30,000 web pages. I created my own photo sites in 1995 and had lots of traffic until the photo sites began showing up a few years later.

In the last 20 years, I slowed down on prints. I tried printing myself, a frustrating, expensive experience. When I wanted prints, it was usually large ones and I used pro labs. I did several 4X4 feet (1X1.3m) prints off 6 and 12MP cameras with amazing results.

Today most of my photos end up on my own screensaver for my MAC - around 1300 photos of abstractions from all over the world and artwork I like. Haven't made a print in 3 years, except this one.

Look closely - that's the view from my desk looking out on the balcony. Instead of seeing my neighbors apartments (look at the top of the photo) I see the Colorado River North of Moab, a 7x10 foot print (~2X3m) from a D200 photo 15 years ago. (A bigger version is here http://www.jimhayes.com/photo/OnlinePhotographer/PatioL.jpg

So for my purposes, the iPhone works fine. I'm not a camera aficionado, artist nor a perfectionist.

But I might add that the photo I showed before is something I want to research. In very bright light, those small pixels may have an advantage. And my next patio mural, when I tire of this, will probably be from an iPhone shot.

Well, I seem to remember a certain iPhone XS shot that enlarged quite well to 30 inches (76cm) on the long side. It was made using the iPhone app "SimplyBW" and the grain effect was added in the app.


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