Sunday, July 24, 2011

Comparing a Cameraphone & DSLR IV

My Sketch
One reason for using a camera is the concept of an “aide mémoire”, but I always carry a sketchpad as well as a camera. I actually prefer “en plein air” painting and sketching to copying photos, but having said that it is always nice to have photographic reference material when completing any at work. So how do the camerphones images compare with my sketchbook. Is that even a fair comparison?
Nokia 6120 Classic cameraphoneHTC Wildfire cameraphonePentax D20 DSLR
IMGP8885Using the viewfinder helps frame the image and set some boundaries of what I might put on the page. It helps convert the complex 2D world I see into the perspective of a 2D plane. Compared with my tonal pencil sketch above it does provide colour reference, yet there is a range of colour intensity between the photos. So as a painter, I feel that a camera phone will be a perfectly acceptable way to collect photo reference. One advantage of the DSLR is I can zoom in and get a bit more detail on a specific part of my subject. However I still believe a sketchbook is a much better way for an artist to really get a sense of the place.

As an interesting side note I have been trying out a few photographicCameraFun - sketch mode apps for my android phone. I like the idea of being able to try out a free version, before having to buy the “Pro” version. One such app is called Camera Fun and it simply provides a set of in camera filters. I like this one called simply Sketch. There are lots of such filters in Photoshop and other photo packages and I have tended to avoid using them.  Ok they are very gimmicky, but Camera Fun is immediate and fun 

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Mobile Blogging : Self Regerence or Self Indulgence

I guess it is logical, being able to blog from a smart phone. It just seams strange standing back from the computer and feverishly typing into my hand (I will need more practice to get used to this virtual keyboard). At the same time it is probably very liberating. I'll be able to blog anywhere, any time, including photos

Look mum hands!

bought to you by the blogger app on android

Comparing a Cameraphone & DSLR III

21072011(002)IMAG0038IMGP858419072011(003)IMAG0013IMGP8444Nokia 6120 classicHTC Wildfire (an android phone)Pentax 20D19072011(001)IMAG0009IMGP8440
2.0 mega pixel 5.0 mega pixel 14.6 mega pixel
Nokia 6120 classic
HTC Wildfire
Pentax 20d DLSR
My research into what differences between cameraphones continue in this series, and now there is a new smartphone (an HTC wildfire) with a 5 mega pixel camera in the middle. I was looking for a suspected colour bias and saturation, and the tendency to overexpose. All three issues are present to some extent in the cameraphone images and at the same time those photos are adequate as records. In other words having a cameraphone is way better than no photo at all. If you want a really good photo use a Digital SLR. If you just want a record a cameraphone is fine, and they are improving a lot.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Geotagging on the Go

I must admit I still like geotagging with picasa and google earth, it is probably now a  very clunky and old fashioned way to do it. Perhaps its the nostalgia of revisiting places I’ve already been! Anyway a new smartphone, a HTC wildfire, which is a special model for telstra and most importantly available for purchase (reasonably priced) without a contract (prepaid) meant I was now carrying a GPS everywhere I go at less than the cost of an average GPS unit.

imageSo I figured it was time to try out some of the applications that automatically geotag your photos from a GPS wayfile. All roads quickly lead to Geotag Photos, who offer a number of programs and apps, including on-line, desktops apps (for Windows,Apple Mac and Unix) and smartphone apps (for Iphone & Android). They even have Lite (Free) versions which have reduced features on the phone apps. Specifically the Autolog Feature which will automatically log your position at regular intervals. The essence of the application is a merging of a wayfile (that traces your movements) and matches your photos by time and updates the location in your photo’s EXIF metadata..Sounds a bit complex but there are just 4 simple steps

1 2 3 4
Synchronize the time and date on your camera & phone Start recoding location on phone* and taking photos with your camera Upload your trip** (the .gpx wayfile) Geotag all the photos later with the desktop application and your wayfile and photo directory

* I’m using the Lite version so I have to manually record the way points, by pressing the green map pin on the phone at the places I photograph.

** How you upload the file will depend on how you connect your phone to the computer. I found it was easiest to connect the android phone as if it was a USB drive and just copy the file into my photo directory on the PC.

All nice and easy so much so I’m giving the Lite version a really good try out, but already I’m thinking the pro version is a real photographer’s “must have”" tool for geotagging.

Visiting the Archibald

The Archibald price is Australia’s premiere portrait prize, most notable for controveries. This year the collection have travelled south to the Tawa Wara Museum of Art, near Healesville, within Victoria’s Yarra valley. So it was an easy decision to make a day of it and have a look at the original art work. The exhibition only has a week to go and if you haven’t been its well worth the trip. The Tara Warra Gallery itself is worthy of the visit,The gallery design was selected by a competition, with Allan Powell's elegant design the winner and it is set beautifully atop a hill surrounded by vineyards.


lake pano big-1

I should have realised when I took the Dandenong Creek panorama, which I was very disappointed with at the time and inspired the series of comparative posts, that poor resolution of that image was really a function of the camera’s own in-phone panoramic feature. I would have been much better off to take multiple overlapping cameraphone images and use autostitch (as I have done above)

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Comparing a Cameraphone & DSLR II

Pentax 20D DSLRPentax 20D DSLRPentax 20D DSLRPentax 20D DSLR


Nokia 6120 classic cameraphoneNokia 6120 classic cameraphoneNokia 6120 classic cameraphoneNokia 6120 classic cameraphone

Clearly at the macro level (Close Up) there is a massive difference in what a simple lensed camerephone and a DSLR with a specialist marco lens captures. Its probably not a fair comparison. Beginning with the exposure, the depth of field, and colour fidelity everything is better in the top row, yet you can still recognize what has been photographed by the phone.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Taking Photos at Night


Taking photos when its dark is not something many people try without the flash,but there is a magic world of low level light out there. You just need a tripod and the means to take a long exposure.

Well I didn’t have either my tripod or my magic little remote control trigger. I did have my camera and It does have that useful B (B for bulb) settings. which holds the shutter open all the time the shutter is held down (much easier with the remote control. There was a flat balcony rail at my vantage point, and I could use it to hold my camera firmly to it. So with a little bit of experimentation. At ISO 800 I just started by hold the shutter open for 10 seconds, too dark, 20 seconds. still dark and finally 30 seconds, just right! Then I tried to capture a night time panorama (see collage above). That didn’t really work so well, but the two end photos worked out well enough.

IMGP8257 IMGP8255

PS: Most point & shoot digital cameras will have a night scene mode, it may not let you control the length of the exposure but it will give you an extended exposure without setting off the flash.

Comparing a Cameraphone & DSLR I

Nokia Classic 6120 Phone - Cameraphone vs Pentax D20 - Digital SLR
Which is which?

Saturday, July 09, 2011

PhotoProject :: Silhouettes of Trees


The low sun of winter gives you a bit more opportunity to get down and get those stronger compositions from the silhouettes of trees. To create a little drama from the often routine bland and ordinary

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Persistent Rumors around Picasa


There are persistent rumors that Google is about to rebrand Blogger & Picasa, and bring them into their new social networking offering Google+

Will this make a difference to those already using Picasa, or Blogger I hope not. We will just have to wait and see. The possibility of instant upload of photos and videos from phones & cameras has been mentioned in a few reviews. Sounds far fetched?

Open-mouthed smileMaybe not, you take your photo or video and then there it is on the net automatically, ready to share.


Confused smileHas it already been snared and ridiculed, before you realize what has happened?

Google are rolling out the New Google+ slowly to select user. presumably to avoid another Buzz style anti-climax. Here is the official site where you can apply for an invite.

BE WARNED there are already scammers offering fake Google+ invites (and phishing your details in the process) or charging for fictitious invites that aren’t real anyway and the invites are free (see link above), You just have to get on the list and be patient