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Some New Photos, Some Shot with a New Toy

Posted Apr 07 2012 12:38am
The camera to the iPhone 4S
The camera in the iPhone 4S (Photo credit: Wikipedia )

It's been a while since I added new photos to the gallery (featured in the sidebar on the left), so here's another batch. The first seven were shot with my usual wheelchair mounted camera rig ( click here for info ). I recently upgraded my camera to a Panasonic Lumix GH2 ( click here ), for which I am quickly developing an affection, but that's not the new toy I'm talking about in the title of this post…

My newest gadget is (drumroll please)… an iPhone! The remaining 11 photos posted down below were all taken with my new iPhone 4S, a device I resisted buying for several years because I just didn't want to join the cult of Apple. I know, I know, people love Apple gizmos and will line up for days to get the latest and greatest (I have an Apple Store on the corner of my block), but I've always found the whole Apple thing to be more than a little annoying. Maybe it's just the contrarian in me, but I generally don't like "smug", and Apple as a social phenomenon is nothing if not smug. Yes, their design studios turn out physically beautiful products, and they did reinvent the way we interact with our computers (remember the days of Microsoft DOS, blech), revolutionize the way we purchase and listen to music (and in the process destroy the monolithic music industry, which, even though it employed me, might not be a bad thing) and even change the whole concept of what a phone should be, but I always resisted the Apple siren song because of the smugfest that enveloped it.

What finally won me over was the inclusion of a relatively high-quality eight megapixel camera in the newest iPhone, and all the fun photography apps designed for it that I kept reading about on the various photo websites I like to poke around in. The Siri feature, which lets you talk to the phone and access many of its functions by voice command was also a selling point, as it’s a very disability friendly option, but the big draw for me was the photo potential.

Despite my initial reticence, I have to admit that the iPhone is a pretty neat device. I have gone a little nuts with the photo apps, but hey, at the cost of one or two bucks each I can afford to splurge, and many of them do some impressive tricks. Though I've always used Photoshop to process my photos, I generally try not to tinker with them too much, preferring to stick with traditional in camera photography and the digital version of old-school darkroom techniques. With the iPhone and all of its many photo apps, though, I just can't help myself but mess around with the photos in a zillion different ways, as you can probably see from the examples below. It's easy to overdo it with some of the effects because the apps make it so terribly easy and some self-control is definitely required, but there's something about making pictures with the iPhone that is tremendously addictive. The quality of the photos it produces is nowhere near that of a dedicated high-end interchangeable lens digital camera, but for a phone - zowie!

An unexpected benefit that I really didn't anticipate before getting the iPhone is that it allows me to handhold the camera, which is very liberating after years of taking photos with a camera firmly mounted to the arm of my wheelchair. The iPhone camera can be operated with one hand (which is a good thing for someone who only has one gimpy but for the time being still working hand), and the photos I take with it are much more like my photos of old, prior to MS (or whatever the hell I have) forcing a very disciplined style of shooting on me. Before MS stole the use of my right arm, I used lots of toy and/or antique cameras, because I loved the dreamy, seemingly haphazard, and often surreal images they captured. Well, the combination of the small footprint of the iPhone and its many available photo apps has allowed me to digitally re-create what I used to do organically. Naturally, I'd give my right arm (snicker) to be able to go back to doing things as I did in my healthy days, but, as they say, any port in a storm…

Okay, enough with my endless blatherings. Presented for your perusal are the following 18 photos (click thumbnail for larger image), on which I'd love to get your feedback. Feel free to critique at will, as I'd like to know which ones you hate as well as which you like, so please don't be shy about leaving your impressions in the comments section at the bottom of the post.

Oh, I almost forgot, since a bunch of readers have inquired if and where they might buy some of my photos, I'm looking into setting up a website that would allow folks to do so. I don't want to generate any income from selling them, but I would like to further MS research, so any profits realized would be donated to various MS charities. More details to follow, as they become available…


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