Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Forge Ahead, Pixel Pundits

iPhone Photo Chronicles
~ Forge Ahead, Pixel Pundits ~

BONUS: For Street Photography Fans!

Whilst waiting for my good old iPhone 5, which must be along one of these days, right?, I thought I'd demonstrate for you once again the limitations of the good old version 3. Oops, pardon, 3GS, no less.

I'm not talking about the creative limits of course, because they don't lie in the camera, but the technical ones. Strangely, I'm going through the same thing I did when digital photography was just taking off, and each increase of a few hundred K's worth of pixels was front page photo press news.

Now we are there again, just this time it's the little transparent disc on the back of your phone which is going through growing pains, and we too, as we hold back and hesitate and hold back some more on labelling phone-photography 'proper'.

Personally, I love it, and in particular the restrictions placed upon me by this highly sophisticatedly basic device. The sophistication is more in what you can do with the photo after taking it, from manipulating it with crazy apps to sending it around the world in a sec. The basicness is in terms of resolution and control over the photo-taking process - very limited indeed.

But although I end up with pictures well under 1MB most of the time, with grain-a-gogo (and not of the sexy silver crystal type either), I'm still lovin' it, as McDonalds would say. Never thought I'd be positively quoting McDonalds, but there you go.

The phone I have gives me 3 megs of raw photo. The current version has 5. I'm waiting for 7. And so it goes.

The funniest thing of all is that camera manufacturers are in the midst of a pixel war, and fools like you and I are buying cameras based on the highest pixel count irrespective of how many they actually need for the end result.

In my case, the end result, for the moment (waiting for the coffee table tome), is generally what you see above. 500 x 500 of those little babies folks - oh yeah! Which when fed through the compressor for your downloading comfort comes out at a paltry 150 or 100 K or less. What a joke! Whilst all those gigabytes of forgotten garbage hog our hard discs, here we are looking at 100K of creativity. And quite happy at that!

Times will move on, progress will out, and I'll be working with a whole bunch more megs, like a Ferrari idling down the motorway at 55, and I guess it will be nice to know that there's plenty of latent capacity humming away under the hood. But the result will still be more or less the same. Another pic like the one above.

In the end it's not the technology which concerns me. This will always forge ahead. It's the creativity which has to be constantly worked on and nurtured. And in its turn also forge a head: mine, and occasionally others with a bit of luck.
© 2011
Sab Will / Paris Set Me Free - Contact me directly for photo tours, interviews, exhibitions, etc.

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