January 24, 2015

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Here it is–this is what all that messing around with my camera’s panoramic photo app was all about. I faked a long exposure. You find something that’s moving on its own–like cars or bicyclists or crazy kids on playground equipment. Then you aim, start the panoramic shot–but barely move the camera, instead of panning it. It’d be nice if you didn’t have to move it at all, but my pan app yells at me and doesn’t save the picture if I don’t move the camera a little. So just nudge it a little slllooowwly, holding the pan open though for as long as you normally would. Experiment with what works for your shot, but I found that moving the camera in the same direction that you moving object is going seems to produce the best results. So the only “lab work” on this photo was popping the color a bit and adding a border in BeFunky.

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January 13, 2015

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If it makes you feel better, the car was in park when I took this. Someone told me it was the worst traffic day they’d seen in 3 years.

A little color work in BeFunky, but this is one of those cases where the cell phone camera got the shot. Thank you Kyocera!

January 9, 2015

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We have some of the best taco stands and small Mexican restaurants (burrito joints) in the country. And some many of them that when I sent this to Annie and originally posted it online no one could figure out which one. They all knew they’d been there (the cow is kind of unforgettable), but there were so many…
I “fujied” the colors a bit using BeFunky. Just on a side note, I have also used the editing feature in the standard Android gallery app at times. Depending on what version you have, you are able to adjust things like contrast and saturation right there. On the Kyocera Torque, you access it by pressing the external menu button right down there at your lower right hand.

December 19, 2014

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And in December 2014, whooping cough was making a return, sweeping through the area. I got direct exposure at work, and since I had a lingering cough from what I thought (and the experts eventually confirmed) was a cold, I spent the afternoon at a certain nearby clinic getting poked, prodded, and eventually testing clean for diphtheria. There were maybe more striking pics to take in that clinic, but I chose this one because Annie used to climb on that sculpture with her big brother when she was younger.

“But it’s bluuurry…”

I am a formally trained, non-professional photographer.

“Why is it out of focus?”

“Why is it so dark?”

And so forth.

I won my first award for my photography using a pinhole camera that I built out of cardboard and black construction paper. After lots of classes and contests and jobs and shows I’ve come to the conclusion that I do best when playing to my strengths. I like natural light. I like photography on the fly. I’m not after the technically perfect calendar shot, because that’s not my strength. I like to convey an idea. Of course, I want to continuously work on improving the technical quality of my pictures. Always striving.

But that’s not what this is about–it’s a story. It’s a picture a day, no matter what’s going on that day. I have a full time job that’s not as a National Geographic photographer. And life is what happens as we are making other plans. Content is the aim.

AND

Most of these are taken with a cellphone.

Pinhole camera.

Photographers have always experimented with alternate techniques, from home built cameras, to playing around with light exposure on different materials to…cell phones. There are actual shows and contests out there devoted solely to cell photography. There are some fascinating considerations when it comes to cell phone photography. Look at the impact on our culture when we stuck a camera in nearly everyone’s hand. Look at all the moments that were never recorded before because a photographer wasn’t on hand with all their equipment. Suddenly, we’ve been given the ability to see the world through everyone’s eyes.

So these are taken with a cell phone–which has some physical limitations. On top of that, I have all that other stuff going on that sometimes keeps me from spending a long time getting out there looking for that perfect shot, or having the time to bracket. If that bothers you, don’t look. This is a story blog–it’s just being told primarily by pictures, instead of words.

I do have “real cameras,” which I occasionally get a chance to dust off and use. I reserve the right to use photos from those for my pic of the day–but I’ll warn you if I change equipment. What you’ve seen so far are taken with a Kyocera Torque (most awesome phone ever), using the Camera ZOOM FX Premium camera app. I am a long time Fuji film fan, so the degree of saturation in my picture was frustrating me, and when CZOOM got buggy for a while (they fixed that), I tried out the BeFunky Photo Editor app, and I gotta say, I like it a lot. It’s not Photoshop for the phone or anything, but it does give you more adjustment powers than you see with most other photo edit apps. So you’re gonna see some of that come into play in January.