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Thursday, 28 August 2014

iPhoneography: out on the street

I have been hesitant to get into iPhoneography because up until now I don't think the cameras in smartphones and devices have been good enough. I always carry a point-and-click with me so I still get the unexpected shot. Also, although I have an old Samsung Ace smartphone I actually use an ordinary Nokia which has a dual sim (allows 2 sim cards) which I need and love. It also only costs me £7 a month to run! On the other hand I couldn't do without my tablets and these easily and more conveniently take the place of a smartphone.

However, now the apps on the smartphones and tablets for photo manipulation have become so good and are such fun I am in a quandary.  If I want to get more seriously into iPhoneography, what now?? The new iPhone '6' is due to come out any moment which is purported to have a much improved camera. But it is also rumoured to cost a bomb. Can I honestly justify buying a phone plus special lenses which will amount to the cost of a decent DSLR!!? Especially as I am not interested in buying it to use as a phone.

Anyhow, I have to make do with what I have at the moment so I went trotting down to Hong Kong Park late afternoon on a lovely day to see what I could do with my Samsung Ace. I realised very quickly that I use my zoom lens constantly and getting any decent shots was a challenge although I quite enjoyed that. Usually after a photography session like this I would come home with quite a few shots that I would be very excited about and be inspired to do something with but anything which was clear was quite ordinary and many shots I couldn't take because the subject was just a little too far away. Disappointing.

Last night my hubby was out for supper so I decided to go out early evening with my iPad this time and see if I could get some candid shots in a coffee bar or restaurant. These weren't great but I did get some interesting shots on the night streets. I was so tempted to pull out my proper camera and felt like I missed some great opportunities to get some clear shots. I used the Procamera 7 app on my iPad to improve the shots and realised that I need to understand the app a lot better. I took 176 shots and found about three that I might possibly use.

So here is my first try. I love the shot itself even if it isn't as clear as I would have liked but not convinced that the final manipulation is quite right. It is so important to know your tools WELL and I am not quite at the stage where I know where to go to get that special filter or tint or whatever but I am getting there and thoroughly enjoying the challenge.

Here is the original shot. I loved all the black and white lines and the fact that the pizza maker was wearing a striped shirt too although it isn't evident in this shot:

Here is the final manipulation. The apps I used were Procamera 7, Snapseed, Noir and iResize.

I did another one adding textures and grain but decided I like the simple black and white of this one.


  1. love the black & white...awesome work!

  2. Thanks, Sue. Photographing with a device has made me look at photography in a different way which is exciting and empowering. Thank you for adding me to your Google+ by the way.

  3. Love this black and white one, Ann, and especially the stripes! I admire your dedication to your self-imposed challenge of using equipment which is more limiting than you are used to.