Re: why smartphone photography stinks for you. A Response

2011-09-17-viv-032-29 - murhaaya.com

Vivitar UWS loaded with cross processed film. This camera has no exposure control. Just a shutter release and rewind

I’ve read the latest article by JP Danko about why smartphone photography stinks. I disagree, and here is my response.

I do hate the term “tog”. I cringe every time I see or hear it.

Your definition of real camera does sound little bit pretentious to my ears as it leaves out pretty much all point and shoots and (however heretic it might sound) lofi/lomo cameras. Disregard the phone aspect for now. All the autofocus, auto exposure cameras with little to no control about anything are left out. This includes cameras like Olympus Mju, many Polaroid Land cameras, Instamatics and Brownies… why I mention them? Cause it seems like your generalization is presuming only digital media. These analog cameras I mentioned are directly comparable with some of the current phone camera offerings. Take Kodak instamatics and Brownies. Cheap, low quality shooters that were spewed by the millions yet they provided the public with much appreciated democratization of photography. Because of their limitations in exposure their photos looked very much the same, yet they defined the visual style and taste in such strong way, that most popular (and praised by you) app like Instagram and Hipstamatic base their success on this established visual style. Just look at the names. Our family memories are defined by low quality cameras yet we continue with this tradition even now, when the access to quality digital apparatus is easier than ever before. But people did not seem to mind the lens quality of the Instamatic or automatic land cameras. As those pictures were viewed as rather small prints today photography is viewed on small screens.

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African Americans Tagged As “Gorillas” By Google Photos App

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Google apparently is not the most politically-correct mind on the planet.  As a recent incident with the Google Photos app illustrates, the artificial intelligence engine is still learning…and making giant mistakes along the way.

Computer programmer and hobbyist photographer Jacky Alciné recently tweeted, “Google Photos, y’all f@#ked up. My friend’s not a gorilla,” along with a screen shot.  Jacky had uploaded a photo of himself and a friend to Google Photos, and the automatic tagging feature got it completely wrong.

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DIY: How To Build A Portable V-Flat With Customized Catchlights

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DIY is where we started, and we love to return to it whenever possible…especially for tutorials like this.

Columbus, Ohio-based photographer Nick Fancher believes that you can “studio” anywhere, turning the most ordinary locations into quality pseudo-studios.  In this video (after the jump), Nick shows us how he constructed a simple and portable v-flat lighting configuration using (what appears to be) foam board and tape.

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Awesome Photo of the International Space Station Over a Full Moon

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Moving at 27,600 km/h the International Space Station orbits Earth every 90 minutes or so, making it relatively easy to spot the spacecraft.

Dedicated websites and apps make visible passes incredibly easy to view, but seeing the ISS cross the moon is a whole nother story; let alone a full moon.

In the case of Australian amateur photographer Dylan O’Donnell he had to wait 12 months to finally get a 0.33 second long window to capture this image. Obviously he nailed it.

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California Paddleboarders Follow Great White Sharks to Get a Selfie

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When you hear about human-shark interactions it’s usually about shark attacks or sharks swimming nearby people. Even when there’s no sign of aggression whatsoever, the media rarely misses the opportunity to play on peoples’ fear of sharks and draw some attention.

This video, captured by a paddleboarder with a GoPro, is rather unusual though. Not only did Courtney Hemerick and Joseph Trucksess encounter great white sharks at Orange County’s Sunset Beach, they actually entered the waters with their flimsy boards in order to see them.

The mission? Shark selfies, according to the Orange County Register.

Sadly, despite the fact that the duo was there by choice and was actively following the sharks, National Geographic still felt the need to sensationalize the video and make it sound as if an attack was imminent.

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Why Smartphone Photography Stinks

why smartphone photography stinks

First – to be clear – I’m talking about the process of using a smartphone camera for photography – not the pics, pix, snaps, shots or whatever it is smartphone togs, shooters or iphoneograperhers call photographs captured with a mobile phone camera.

(Does anyone else really really hate the term “tog” or is it just me?)

Anyway, also for disclosure – yes, I am almost middle aged and I clearly don’t understand modern photography and will be left behind by the new wave of mobile phone photographers because I refuse to adapt.

Right, now that that’s out of the way – here’s why smartphone photography stinks…

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Washington Newspaper Won’t Photograph Foo Fighters’ Concert Due Swift-Like Contract; Will Buy Photos from Fans

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The Foo Fighters will be performing in Washington this weekend with a triple celebration: the 4th of July, a 20th anniversary and coming back to their home state.

The Washington City Paper, however, will not send a photographer to cover the show has they had planned. The reason? A Taylor swift-like contract that according to the paper ‘sucks’, and the paper’s refusal to give the band editorial control.

Pointing out the irony of bands restricting professional photographers when there are thousands of fans with cameras, and maybe in an attempt to stick it a bit to the band, the WCP will run photos taken by concertgoers.

This is the second media outlet stating it won’t send a photographer to cover a concert due to exploitative contracts, after the Irish Times boycotted photos from Taylor Swift’s Dublin performance.

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Battle Zone: Photographer Recreates ‘War of the Worlds’ Using Scale Models

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Lyn Caudle is a fan of The War of the Worlds, so much so that the photographer and visual effects supervisor decided to recreate the massive carnage in his hometown of Dallas.  Unfortunately, nothing was actually blown up or destroyed during the process.

After creating lifelike replicas of the “Martian war machines” from both the 1953 and 2005 versions of the film, Caudle set about compositing them with scene from his favorite city.

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Photographer Receives Death Threats After Sharing a Gay Pride Re-creation of Historic Photo

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For those just now crawling out from under a rock, the United States has been an open battleground since last week’s Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage nationwide.  The Right is attacking the left and saying our doom is upon us; the Left is rubbing it in the faces of the Right.

Ten years ago, Los Angeles photographer Ed Freeman took a photo symbolizing gay pride.  The photo recreated the pose of the iconic Raising of the Flag on Iwo Jima taken by Joe Rosenthal during the Battle of Iwo Jima in 1945, replacing embattled Marines with shirtless men and swapping the American flag for a rainbow flag.

After the Supreme Court decision, Freeman shared the image on his Facebook page, a move which sparked great controversy, including death threats.

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See How a Photographer Created These Stunning Photos of Iceland

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So often, we see videos of photographers sharing about the creation of their images after the fact.  While this is great for presenting the information in a more detailed and refined fashion, it’s easy to lose some of the uniqueness that went into the whole process.

Photographer Thomas Heaton, on a recent trip to Iceland, filmed his process in real time.  In the video, he gives us a true glimpse behind the lens, discussing the use of polarizers, neutral density filters, and delayed exposure to create a series of stunning images from the beautiful landscape.

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