Another day with an empty downtown. Might be the safest place to
walk in all of Austin, Texas.
On Wednesday I found out about the Adobe "Photo Shop Camera" app for the iPhone and downloaded it. I played around with the goofy filters and posted a few things to Instagram and then I got tired of it. But yesterday, when I decided to go for a walk I thought long and hard about cameras I could bring along.
I had just downloaded the firmware update for the Sigma fp so that might have been a logical choice there hasn't been enough time to play with the new upgrades so I took that one off the list. I'd been mulling over trying out the video in the G9 now that its firmware has also been updated so I took that camera, along with the Panasonic/Leica 12-60mm lens and a variable neutral density filter. My brain designated that camera as a "video" camera so when I got to the bridge there was some inertia that led me to hesitate putting it back into "photo" mode just to get a quick shot of downtown. A shot I've made many times before.
Instead I just grabbed my iPhone. It's an XR. It has one lens. And it's a wide angle one at that. But it's quick and easy to use and the automatic HDR capabilities are really great. The XR makes sunlit landscape shots that have wonderful tones and colors. And they never get too contrasty. But I do want to emphasize that these were all done with the native "Photo" app and to the new Adobe one.
After I took and evaluated my first shot (above) I was hooked. The G9 hung by my side for the rest of the early evening walk and I embraced the XR as my sole photography device for the rest of the time.
It was the right day/time for it; the clouds were being dramatic and expressive and I preferred to break the shooting into two distinct parts. I would select the subjects and compositions and I would let the camera do all the grunt work of getting exposure, color balance and focus right. A nice division of labor.
When I got home I looked at all the photos on the phone and started pulling them, mostly untouched by the heavy hands of post production, into this blog post. Now that I've seen for myself how good the camera in the XR is I'm using it more and more when I need wide/fast shots, and when the end product will be shared on the web. It's easier to get the right tonal balance with contrasty landscapes than it is with a conventional camera like the G9 or S1, mostly because I would have to spend time and energy trying to get everything just right after the shoot. With the iPhone I can just depend on the results of a couple hundred scientists with Phd.'s working their butts off at Apple to make just the right algorithms and machine brainiac-ism to make sure the little machine gets a higher hit ratio than I would.
So, in a sense, I've done my instant conversion to a new system. My phone. But in this case no other cameras were sold off and nothing new was purchased. In fact, the total cost was the half hour I finally spent figuring out the camera software on the phone. But be forewarned, I will be diving into the latest and most advanced iPhone I can find as soon as it is announced and available. These cameras are great.
And the black and white conversions are......perfect.
Masked for the walk in open air. Trader Joe's Grapefruit and Lemon spray hand sanitizer in my pocket.
"Bat" bridge in the background...
Blog Note: Please don't advise me that a Samsung or Google phone has a better camera. I won't believe that Fake News and I've drunk so much of the Apple Kool-Aide that all my dress shirts are stained and my teeth are Apple colored.