available light photography: direction of light / posing into the light
A topic that I’ve given more and more attention to here on Tangents, is available light photography – but specifically the concept that it isn’t just a random way of taking photos, but that consideration has to be given to the direction of light. When you work with someone you want to take a portrait of, it is crucial that you pose someone in flattering light. This often means posing someone into the light, with the one shoulder toward the direction of light. This idea works for even the simplest of cameras.
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best walkabout camera – the iPhone
My love for the iPhone knows little bounds. Not only do I have my office in my hand, but I also have a device with which I can contact anyone in the world via phone; email; text messages. (I am extremely contact-able!) I can surf the web; I can take photos; record 1080p HD video clips; record voice recordings and send them to anyone. I have a built-in GPS. I can check train and flight schedules from this device. I can listen to music. I have a staggering number of ways I can interface with the world around me.
As a friend of mine commented to me, not only does it do all of that, but what blows her mind is that it even has a flash-light built in. Staggering!
Best of all for me, as someone with an unquenchable love for photography – I have a camera with me at all times. Right now, the iPhone 4s sports a whopping 8 Megapixels. Sure, the megapixel count isn’t everything. The quality and size of the sensor matters greatly. That said, if the light is good, the quality from the iPhone is quite impressive. In low light – well, you still have a capable little camera with which you can pull out surprising images.
The photo above was of a cyclist swishing past me in the evening in Manhattan. Panning with the cyclist, I have him sharp enough so that you get some detail … and the background is pleasantly blurred with my movement. As much as there is noticeable digital noise in the image, I feel it really captures a moment there. And all I had to do was whip the phone out of my pocket. A camera as usable and accessible as this, truly democratizes photography.
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iPhone photos: Las Vegas
As mentioned elsewhere, I attended WPPI 2010 in Las Vegas the past week to present a masterclass there. And in short, I had a great time. I just love Vegas! The constant hum of activity, and the glitziness of it, and the impressive architecture .. all of it energizes me the moment I step out of the cab from the airport.
Roaming around The Strip with some friends in the afternoons and evenings, I opted out of carrying a Nikon D3 with me all the time. It just felt like so much brute weight when I’m not working. So instead I kept it simple with just my iPhone. And as you may have heard recently, the iPhone is now the most popular camera on Flickr!
Above is a selection of some of the iPhone photos. I think they look surprisingly good for so little control over the image-taking process! The photos were manipulated with the ShakeItPhoto app on the iPhone. No other work went into these.
As for the title … well, late one evening, going down the Strip in a cab with a friend, we waited at the Flamingo intersection. And we waited. The cabbie suddenly exclaimed, “Curse you, Flamingo!” Apparently that slow intersection is the bane of all cabbies in Vegas. We feel your pain, brother.