I've always viewed myself as a traditional photographer, shooting with either my 35mm film camera or my current Digital SLR. About six months ago I finally upgraded my "beam me up Scotty" flip style phone to a Samsung Galaxy S4, and I'm having a lot of fun using the camera feature and sharing the images I shoot.
Last night my wife and I took our six year old grandson to Monster Mini Golf to have some fun and then grab a quick bite to eat at Tijuana Flats, both in Miramar, Florida. This was one of those situations where carrying my Canon 7D was not going to be very convenient. I had never been to this game room and was not sure what to expect, except to just have a good time and play some games. When I walked into this indoor miniature golf course I discovered an environment primed for terrific family pictures as well as artistic photography opportunities. With cell phone camera poised and ready in my pocket, I felt like a old west gunslinger strolling through the isles reaching for my thirteen megapixel weapon and shooting with hopes of pinpoint accuracy.
Cell phone photography was never on my radar, but I have learned that people pursue the art of photography for many reasons, some for financial gain, some for hobby purposes, some for pure artistic pleasures, and some for the capture of lifetime memories, thus my photography motto,"Moments in time are lived once. Images of those moments live forever." My cell phone camera is opening a new world for me. I started with the standard camera application that came with my Galaxy, just called "Camera", and recently purchased ProCapture 1.7 (old version). I tried the free version, along with others, and I liked the ease of the interface. I upgraded from the free version because I wanted to utilize the maximum thirteen megapixels that my phone would support. I feel that if I'm going to take pictures, I want the best possible digital image, just in case I get something good and want a print. As I shoot and review my cell phone photos, I almost feel a sense of nostalgia. The images remind me of pictures I would see from my youth. Pictures which tended to be a little grainy, a little bit out of focus, images being caught in the moment. When I shoot with my phone, my goal is not to use the flash. I like the way the existing light looks with the camera manipulating the white balance. I'll make some minor improvements during post production but for the most part I leave the images alone. I'll also try not to use the flash because I'm not pleased with the dreaded "red eye" that shows because the flash angle is to close to the lens. Whether I am using my Digital SLR or my cell phone camera, I am still looking for opportunities for composition. The miniature golf course had many of these opportunities, with the florescent lights that made the painted wall images look 3-D. Family "selfies" are an interesting concept also. I can now be in the event pictures which never included me because I was on the wrong side of the camera. How cool is that!!!
I am going to keep experimenting with my cell phone, especially since the quality is getting better. The quick shots are a great and easy way for me to capture memories while also helping me maintain the sense of perfectionism I try to achieve in my photography.
Have you had a similar experience, I'd like to hear about it.
Enjoy and remember,
"Moments in time are lived once. Images of those moments live forever."