Poagao's Journal

Absolutely Not Your Monkey

Nov 01 2008

Three degrees of photography

The fact that I’m currently uploading pictures I took the day Sandman’s son was born over two weeks ago got me to thinking about different levels of photography. The birth, by the way, was amazing; I’d never seen anything like it, though the closest I got to the actual event was the waiting room. But the happiness and celebration afterwards was very moving and an honor to be a part of.

But as I was saying, due to various factors it took me over two weeks to get around to downloading, processing and uploading the pictures. For events like that, I take my big DSLR and lenses with me, as I’m sure that I’ll be wanting to take pictures. That’s the top level, at least for me.

Most of the time, however, I just keep my compact Sigma DP1 on me, as it’s easy to store in my backpack and has excellent image quality, if not great low-light capabilities or more than one focal length. That’s the next level.

After shoppingToday, though, I discovered another level, a slightly disconcertingly attractive one, in fact: using my mobile phone camera, which really isn’t a very good camera at all, I can take a picture, label it, geotag it and upload it to one or several services like Flickr or Twitter within seconds right from my phone.

I’m not sure how I feel about this. One the one hand, the phone’s camera takes low-res, blurry shots with blown-out highlights and murky shadows. There’s no autofocus or zoom available. On the other hand, it’s there, in my hand, and I feel like the shots I get with it feel more immediate, even if they’re not, mostly likely because people looking at my photostream are seeing what I saw just a moment ago, rather than weeks in the past. Of course, with the passage of time, this immediacy is lost, isn’t it? Or does some of it cling to the picture over the years? I have no idea, but I’m interested in playing around with the idea and seeing what happens.

posted by Poagao at 11:55 am  


  1. Your cameras capture the memorable moments. I think that really matters. 😀

    Comment by Daniel — November 2, 2008 @ 5:27 am

  2. The honour was mine, Poagao. It was wonderful to have you there.

    Comment by sandman — November 6, 2008 @ 7:40 am

  3. As cell phone camera quality improves I wonder if in five or ten years from now there will be a certain nostalgia for the blurry, low quality pics of today, in the same way that people sometimes take high quality pics and manipulate them to look old-fashioned like those faux polaroid shots.

    Comment by naruwan — November 7, 2008 @ 5:45 am

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a comment