Afterexposure Photography

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Posts Tagged ‘iphone’

[b]ecker's Crash Course

What a ride that last two days have been! Calgary was host to Becker thanks to the efforts of Patrick Kornak, (and Svetlana, and crew) and the Saturday presentation was a blast. And so was Friday night group meet. And so was Saturday night post-event… and I’m sure that the Sunday gang is going to be just as jazzed as we were to connect with fellow photographers, hang out, and ‘get it’.

I still haven’t distilled all the info and made it part of my DNA yet. It’s still percolating – some of the practical stuff is right at the top of my conscious mind – and some is bubbling around in my sub-conscious, making those all-important associations with everything else I know and am.

But I can tell you the experience was worth it.

I think the most important lessons were those about connecting – and not just with other photographers – but with customers and vendors too. That was a biggie; and not because it was something new to the audience, everyone knows ‘networking – yeah it’s important’ – that’s NOT it. It’s more about the quality and experience of those connections that has the biggest effect.

And there was a TON of info about the mechanics of why and how he does business, but that really serves more to illustrate the underlying philosophies, and in return how those practical things enable him to deliver consistently solid value every time. Nice.

Oh, and it was (just) warm enough for us to run outside and get a real-time example of how he works with subjects – even if he only has seconds to do it.  He shot a newlywed couple for 5 or 10 minutes, and then our headshots – all 90 of us – something like 2100 images in all – in the other 20 minutes. And not once did he say ‘smile for the camera’ – he didn’t have to! Again, nice.

Here is an iPhone / thebestcamera app image of him in a race against frozen fingers:

@thebecker - work'in it

@thebecker - work'in it!

So an open call to everyone who attended – from either day – I’ll see you at the [b]school.

And if you don’t or can’t join there, keep an eye out here – there will be a group meeting in a couple of weeks – comment here or email me if you’re interested in some of this kool-aid.

… and if you are trying to place my name with a face – I’m the Pentax shooter who wore Hawaiian shirts 😉

The Best Camera ?

If you are an iPhone user, and a photographer, you probably have already heard of an idea / application / book / website from Chase Jarvis called “The Best Camera“.

Overall the concept seems to borrow heavily from the Lomographic Society and their branding; lots of lomo-style images to get you fired up; lots of filters to create lomo-style images; and lots of ways to share them, right from the phone. To be fair the style isn’t owned by Lomo, and Chase Jarvis did some work in this style that was (as I understand it) well known and liked before the amateur craze started.

It’s got warts and growing pains, but the ability to change the order the effects filters are applied in, learn from others and how they used the filters, and get some inspiration from the constantly changing live feed on the app on the website… it makes the iPhone camera worthwhile – even my crappy 3G camera.

It’s more fiddly, with more options, so it takes longer to get a ‘finished’ shot than with Polarize, but the effects can be similar. It can also use an image from the camera roll, so you can always mix and match.

It’s not perfect (yet)… there are a few missing features from the camera app and the website…

  • The camera app doesn’t have ALL the possible controls, but the selection is good.
  • The filters that you apply don’t have individual adjustments of their effects.
  • The shutter button is small, but at least it takes the shot when you release it, not when you press it.
  • When you share an image via twitter, there is no option to add a title or description to the tweet.

The web site needs a way to find images by a specific user, I think. That might make it too flickr-like, but unless you save the images to your phone or email them to yourself (and don’t delete the emails, like I did…), you’ll lose the images forever!

But overall it’s pretty cool, and worth the $3 for it in the App Store.

An image processed with the Best Camera app. Click to see the filters applied.

Equipment – Does it make a difference?

I was chatting with the model / make-up artist Kasandra about Twitter and photography, and was showing her what it was like to take a quick picture, post it, and tweet it. This was shot with my trusty old iPhone 3G:
The resulting photo is more behind-the-scenes than actual photography, but what the heck.
Of course I was really keen to see what the finished images looked like from the Pentax K20D with the 50-135mm f/2.8 SDM lens that I was shooting with…
Needless to say, there are a lot of differences between the shots; optical equipment aside.
But we’ve all heard the old drum that ‘the equipment doesn’t make the photographer!’
Yeah. Sure.
But what if …. in some crazy corner of the world … you could make the second image with a lowly old iPhone. We’ve all seen links to galleries of ‘Amazing iPhone images
Hmm…. sounds like a great challenge… the next time I’m shooting like this I’ll see what I can do to ‘improve’ the ‘ol iPhone shots a bit. I know I’m going to start with the lighting… I just need a trigger…