Thursday, 14 May 2015

Phone Photography - Who Would Have Thought We'd Be Seeing So Many Phone Images?!

Phones and cameras have been advancing in terms of quality, speed and low light performance literally glued to each other over a short, however really turbulent period. Just 30 years ago, what we are doing with our mobile phones today, used to be sci-fi.
A photo taken with BlackBerry Passport using the Camera++ app with the HDR function on and then retouched on the same device.
I do have a dSLR and a bunch of lenses for when I need to be creative and get all those great retouch possibilities afterwards at home or the office for various client and own projects. Of course, no phone camera beats the low noise capabilities and the various lens-propelled image enhancements of a dSLR.
A photo taken with a Nikon D90 dSLR in RAW (NEF) format at dawn and enhanced in Adobe Photoshop CS6.
Even though my dSLR is older than my phone, the latter still has some catching up to do. I know that this type of comparison may not be fair at all considering the size of the sensor difference and everything that actually makes a professional camera what it is.
But where do a good camera phone and a regular camera really intersect in terms still image capabilities and video?
First of all, I like taking close-up macro photos. This is an area where, I can say, my BlackBerry is rather good. I can admit that blurring of the background may not be so nice and the lack of interchangeable lenses could be a little bit of a pain for the final result but I can retouch the images straight away and upload them for all my friends to see. The latter advantage is, of course, applicable for all photos taken by phone.
Secondly, I like, and who doesn't, landscape shots. This is where a phone camera, and especially a good one, comes in really handy. With a little bit of retouch and choosing a good angle, your images could start to look really nice and professional. The more you experiment with a good higher class mobile phone camera, the better you will become.
Third, I am really fond of shooting video on my BlackBerry Passport device! This just feels great! The stabilization of the camera, the colors and quality in daylight are all things worth mentioning. I appreciate the ease of use and how I can just take nice casual videos without having to think too much what lens I have on and how I could edit the material afterwards. 
Here's a small bit of advice when shooting video:
Make sure you hold your phone so that the wide side of the video window is at the bottom. After all we all have wide screens nowadays, and while tall screens may become a thing of the distant future it's really frustrating watching "tall" videos, feeling like peeking through a door frame.
When it comes to portraiture, however, I always use my dSLR. I am just used to controlling everything and taking my time using thoroughbred computer/Mac software to re-touch and make things as nice as possible. This is one area I'd not even think about using my phone. 

My final words of wisdom would be:
Do not try to replace your dSLR with a phone and vice versa. It just won't work. Anyway, try and become as good as you can using both. After all, it's the hand that wields it.

Please comment, share and let me know if you found this useful. Here's another nice image (try to guess if it's a dSLR or a phone camera image).

Sunday, 26 January 2014

January Can Be Rather Weird

While in the good old US the weather was hitting new #freezing records, on the other side of the ocean in Europe things were going rather optimistic and we were having the mildest winter in ages. I was loving it until a couple of days ago, when all of a sudden the temperatures dropped, the port got closed and there wasn't even that much snow. It was all ice!
So, what a great opportunity to take some photos in a weather that was as cold as it was beautiful. When there's a lot of #ice and wind you can't really change lenses too much outside and I decided to mount my trustworthy prime 50mm 1.8. It seemed like the right choice and it surely turned out to be so at the end of the day.

Here was my preparation:

  • A warm meal
  • A hot cup of tea
  • Warm clothes
  • Dry shoes
  • 2 full batteries for my #camera. It was a cold day so I had charged 2 batteries. Cold drains them faster
  • Wipe for the #lens
  • ND filter would have been nice if I hadn't forgotten it at home
I did not want to overdo it because it was too icy and slippery. Carrying too much stuff could be dangerous and get you out of balance. You'll see what I mean when you see the photos below.
And here they are:

OK, so here's my advice:
  • Travel light
  • Don't change lenses when the weather is bad
  • Watch your step
  • Get some friends along to make the walk outside in the cold a little funnier
  • Don't spend too long outside with the camera hanging from your neck - bad for the camera and bad for you
Enjoy the winter or at least what's left of it this year and don't forget to share, comment and ask!

Warm regards,

Kamen Kunchev

Sunday, 13 October 2013

It's been a while...

It's been a while since this blog got launched and it appears I am getting more hits than I was expecting, especially for being less than a casual writer. Thanks to all who have read at least 1 article here! I am not really trying to teach or invent new stuff. I just want to be useful and provide an unbiased opinion (as much as I can) on taking photos.

It's not very easy to support a blog, a website, a photography business and going to work every Monday to Friday... so, please support this site and blog by sharing, liking and commenting. This is important to me as much as it would be important so someone who likes taking photos and would like to read some useful info.


Sunday, 15 September 2013

Good Old Stuff Around The House - A Rainy Day Idea

So, it was a Saturday morning and the weather was not exactly what I'd call perfect for laid back outdoor photography. I looked around and instead of giving my trigger finger some rest I decided to take photos of old stuff that I had forgotten for years around the house.

I took out  my flashes, did the settings for white background and started digging for interesting out-of-their-time object and this is what I found in about 30 minutes.
Vilia Вилия
This one is really old and just like the rest of the things below it still works!

Audiotapes were awesome especially if your player had an auto-reverse feature.

I remember renting VHS movies all the time for the weekend and it was awesome!

Atari games
Having one of these would mean you're the man and you and your friends could have so much fun.

Back in the days we were using these for so many things.
Back in the days we would use diskettes to exchange images, games, store data and boot a computer...
I really don't know what to do with these, but I know it's all good memories and I don't feel like giving them away. Maybe I am getting old and sentimental but what can I do? At the end of the day we all want to have a taste of the good old times.

Oh, and it was a good photography practice because I didn't know what I'd find in those old shelves.

Tell me what you think and post some of your own old stuff images. I guess this is the only way to preserve them as they were.

Have fun,

Kamen Kunchev