iPhonography

An iPhone Postcard Landscape

Ominous Flatirons. Boulder, Colorado, 2017
Ominous Flatirons. Boulder, Colorado, 2017

 

From the sea back to the high mountains… and a local iconic (cliché?) postcard landscape for you from just above the Boulder Bubble, aka The Friendly People’s Republic of Boulder.

With my D800 and my 24-70mm lens off at Nikon for repairs (they were dropped some time ago…both still worked, but were pretty banged up), it is the iPhone that I have with me most often these days.

REPAIR UPDATE: It appears that my D800 is coming back from Nikon as “unrepairable” This means I will have to use the thing sans battery door and with a small pointy object always handy to pry the battery out of its slot each time I need to charge or change it. The camera still makes good images, though, even with the bashed batt compartment.

Emptying My iPhone Pockets

In other words…going through my recently collected iPhone photos.

Whenever I see something random and interesting, I pull out the phone and take a picture.

I am finally getting used to the fact that the phone is also a camera and am finally remembering that I have it available as a photographic tool.

So, here are some random iPhone images from the past few weeks, pulled out of my “pockets”…

Prom Dressing Room. Denver, Colorado, 2016
Prom Dressing Room. Denver, Colorado, 2016

 

A Chef's Thumb's Up. Boulder, Colorado, 2016
A Chef’s Thumb’s Up. Boulder, Colorado, 2016

 

Waving at the Waves. Denver, Colorado, 2016
Waving at the Waves. Denver, Colorado, 2016

 

Rock Alien. Mt. Lemmon, Arizona, 2016
Rock Alien. Mt. Lemmon, Arizona, 2016

 

Sawhill Grass-scape. Sawhill Ponds, Colorado, 2016
Sawhill Grass-scape. Sawhill Ponds, Colorado, 2016

 

Cottonwood Shadows. Sawhill Ponds, Colorado, 2016
Cottonwood Shadows. Sawhill Ponds, Colorado, 2016

New York City, An American Paradise

American Paradise. NYC, 2015
American Paradise. NYC, 2015

 

I am still cleaning out the last of my iPhone images from New York City, so here are a few more.

In the above, there are a number of interesting elements all in juxtaposition: the crowd snapping away with cell phones at above left, the word “paradise” coincidentally on the screen, the “stand up” phrase maybe also referring to American individualism and determination, the NASDAQ implication of the stock market and capitalism, the multi-ethnic crowds on the street, the beautiful Big Brotherly model asking you with her eyes to consume their product, and of course the American Flag, larger than life. (Unfortunately, the fat finger smudge at the top takes the photo out of any kind of “keeper file”. Or…maybe it symbolizes the eventually eclipse of all empires by the circumstances of history.)

The iPhone 6 is pretty amazing for how easy it is to use and the relatively decent quality you get even in difficult conditions. Those with the larger “Plus” even have image stabilization. And these tiny cameras are only going to get better.

Probably the next step will be to incorporate multiple lenses or a lens array in the phone for capturing a single image (and video) with much greater resolution and dynamic range. The big camera companies ought to be really worried!

More examples…

A stars and stripes follow-on to the above…

Patriotic Apartment. Brooklyn, NY, 2015
A Patriotic Apartment. Brooklyn, NY, 2015

 

Consciousness–NOT…

Recycling Consciousness. Brooklyn, NY, 2015
Recycling Consciousness. Brooklyn, NY, 2015

 

To me, they are both weird habits…sucking on nicotine for kicks…

Smoking vs Vaping. NYC, 2015
Smoking vs Vaping. NYC, 2015

 

Who is the rocker? Cyndi Lauper, maybe? The body type doesn’t fit Madonna–my initial guess…

Rockin' Out in the John. Hard Rock Cafe, NYC, 2015
Rockin’ Out in the John. Hard Rock Cafe, NYC, 2015

New York City Ad Campaign

Whilst a cold autumn rain continues to fall outside here in Colorado–a portent of the snows to come–I thought I’d clean out my excessively enlarged and festering memory bank of iPhone images.

In doing so, I came across some pictures I made earlier this summer of a very imaginative ad campaign in New York City .

The company is focused on real estate in the City and is called StreetEasy.com. (Feel free to go to their link and fantasize about spending millions on a tiny crash pad in the Big Apple!)

Here are four examples of their ads as I found them sprinkled throughout the NYC subway stations. They definitely hired the right “Mad Men [and Women]” and the very well done posters certainly give you a feel for what it might be like to live in a cramped NYC flat…

StreetEasy Ad, #1. NYC, 2015
StreetEasy Ad, #1. NYC, 2015

 

StreetEasy Ad, #2. NYC, 2015
StreetEasy Ad, #2. NYC, 2015

 

StreetEasy Ad, #3. NYC, 2015
StreetEasy Ad, #3. NYC, 2015

 

StreetEasy Ad, #4. NYC, 2015
StreetEasy Ad, #4. NYC, 2015

The iPhone and Sharing Images

I find myself using two cameras at once quite a lot when I am in the mountains. First, I make the pictures with the big Nikon, then I snap the same picture with the iPhone.

Why? I can’t send a picture home (or to the latest social media account) with the Nikon, but I can share it immediately with the iPhone (assuming cell phone coverage where I happen to be).

And the iPhone images are pretty good–just fine as a frog’s hair for most web uses. As an example, here is an iPhone pano from yesterday’s Twin Sisters hike. It is straight out of the phone except for some straightening and some fixing of the sky where the straightening correction had burred the blue at the top.

Twin Sisters Summit iPhone Pano. Twin Sisters Peak, Colorado, 2015
Twin Sisters Summit iPhone Pano. Twin Sisters Peak, Colorado, 2015

For reference…the left side is looking south, roughly toward Boulder-Denver, and the right side is looking north with the western quadrant in-between. Longs Peak is at the center with the Mummy Range to the far right. The town of Estes Park would be under the clouds between the Mummy Range and my location.

The ridge in the foreground on the right and the left is actually the same ridge–the west summit of Twin Sisters Peak–so that confirms I swept the camera around a full 180 degrees. It’s hard to see on the small computer screen, but there is actually a surprising amount of detail in the photograph.

Impressive, for such a small device.

Shadowy Photography

The Monday Photography Group, Shadows. Boulder, Colorado, 2015
The Monday Photography Group, Shadows. Boulder, Colorado, 2015

One reason I really enjoy winter outdoor photography is that the low sun angle really enhances the shadows, giving dimension to the landscape. The farther north the latitude, the better.

Sometimes it is fun to try capturing the shadows as a subject in and of itself–whilst attempting to avoid the cliché. Shadows, to me, imply the existence of a parallel world, often ignored, but filled with spirits, movement, and mood.

So, this was the plan yesterday, as we–our Monday afternoon youth photo group–sauntered around a few city blocks in Boulder making images. The theme o’ the day was shadows and squares/rectangles. My eye kept seeing mostly shadows, but an occasional square or rectangular shape did creep into the viewfinder now and then. My tool of choice was the iPhone.

The results? It will be interesting to see what the others came up with when we get together again next Monday–everyone “sees” things soooo differently, you know.

In the meantime, here is my short photo essay, “The Shadowy Other-World of Boulder, Colorado”…

Boulder Sidewalk. Boulder, Colorado, 2015
Boulder Sidewalk. Boulder, Colorado, 2015
Chicken, Tree Swing, and Fenced Man. Boulder, Colorado, 2015
Chicken, Tree Swing, and Fenced Man. Boulder, Colorado, 2015
Family with Baby Carriage. Boulder, Colorado, 2015
Family with Baby Carriage. Boulder, Colorado, 2015
The Tree. Boulder, Colorado, 2015
The Tree. Boulder, Colorado, 2015
The Cyclist. Boulder, Colorado, 2015
The Cyclist. Boulder, Colorado, 2015
Two Photographers and a Pole. Boulder, Colorado, 2015
Two Photographers and a Pole. Boulder, Colorado, 2015

Yes, even in the restaurant bathroom…

…you can make interesting images.

Just whip out the trusty mobile phone and play away! (Looks like the making of yet another series, methinks.)

This particular “circular universe” truly is a portal to an alternative world. You see, it is the ring light around the bathroom mirror in the women’s restroom.

I converted the image to B&W and adjusted the contrast a bit.

Circular Universe. Boulder, Colorado, 2014
Circular Universe. Boulder, Colorado, 2014